Fearless Females: Blog Posts to Celebrate Women’s History Month

March 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

My parents Graham Dawson and Alice Musgrove first met in October 1948.  My dad was a Yorkshireman from Brinsworth near Rotherham in South Yorkshire.  My mum was from Clitheroe in Lancashire.

Alice Musgrove - age 17

Alice was out with her friend, Dorothy Peel, when they saw Graham with his horse and float delivering milk.  Dorothy already knew my dad and stopped to have a chat with him.

A couple of nights later my mum had gone to the Palladium picture house in Clitheroe with another friend, Elsie Bartlett – my mum says that she can’t remember what they went to see. In what seems to be a coincidence my dad and his pal, Wilmot Parkinson, went to the same picture house and sat behind Alice and Elsie.  My mum doesn’t know if my dad recognised her from their brief meeting a few days earlier.

I’m not sure how much of the film they actually saw because my dad kept pulling my mum’s head scarf off and generally teasing and tormenting her.  My mum threatened to tell the cinema manager if he didn’t stop – well, he didn’t and she did.

It seems that my dad delivered milk to the cinema manager and therefore they knew each other.  So rather than being thrown out for being a nuisance he got a rather half hearted ticking off and was told to behave himself.  Round one to Graham I think.

After the picture finished Graham and Wilmot walked behind Alice and Elsie all the way home.  In another act of teenage bravado my dad apparently said to Alice that he would meet her outside the Grand picture house in Clitheroe later in the week.

My mum says that she was undecided whether or not to go but in the end she decided that she would – but she tried to play it cool by deliberately arriving late.  When she got there Graham wasn’t waiting outside.  So my mum decided to go in to the cinema and my dad was already inside.

After the film finshed they went to the October Fair – and never looked back.

They were engaged in September 1949 and married in August 1951.

I’ve asked my mum if she knows anything about how her parents or grandparents met but unfortunately she doesn’t.



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