Family transport wedding 350 miles to Kelso for grandmother Janet

From left, Anna Rodwell, Lois Farnigham, Janet Smith, groom David Medcalf, bride Kirsty Medcalf, Jonathan Farningham and parents Marion and David Farningham.
From left, Anna Rodwell, Lois Farnigham, Janet Smith, groom David Medcalf, bride Kirsty Medcalf, Jonathan Farningham and parents Marion and David Farningham.

A Kelso grandmother enjoyed being guest of honour at a wedding blessing held just for her benefit at the weekend.

Janet Smith, a resident of the town’s Queen’s House care home, welcomed her immediate family to its sitting room on Saturday so that she could be a part of her granddaughter’s wedding.

Janet Smith, 99, with her granddaughter Kirsty Medcalf and her new husband David Medcalf at Queens House care home, Kelso.

Janet Smith, 99, with her granddaughter Kirsty Medcalf and her new husband David Medcalf at Queens House care home, Kelso.

The 99-year-old, a former teacher in Kelso and Jedburgh for over 40 years, could not manage the 350-mile trip down to Old Harlow in Essex the week before to see her first granddaughter get married, so bride Kirsty Farningham and bridegroom David Medcalf, both 30, brought their celebrations north, holding a wedding blessing conducted by the Reverend Anna Rodwell.

Janet’s daughter Marion Farningham, Kirsty’s mum, said: “My mother was on cloud nine. It really made it so special for her.

“It’s was a really nice thing to do – a lot of work, but it was the perfect finish to the whole wedding scenario.

“There was just no way my mother could go down to Essex for the actual wedding, so my husband put forward the idea to take everything up a week after and have a ceremony to make her feel involved.

“She had been very upset that she couldn’t make it.”

The blessing included the same readings and hymns enjoyed a week previously, including Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven, which Janet sang at her wedding to her late husband Archibald in Coldstream Parish Church back in 1950, as did Marion at her wedding to Kirsty’s dad in Kelso’s St John’s Church in 1976.

Janet, who lived at the Tofts in Kelso for 65 years and was widowed 30 years ago, moved into Queen’s House in 2014.

After speaking to the care home, where Marion says staff were more than happy to help, the blessing was set up and ready to go.

“There was quite a lot of excitement about it throughout the home,” Janet added.

“Anna Rodwell did an amazing service, and we gave out the order of services from the actual wedding, sang the same hymns and invited some of my mother’s friends along too.”

The blessing, complete with flowers, music and Janet’s granddaughter dressed to the nines in her wedding dress, was followed by a refreshments and the sharing of some photographs from the first big day.

Other guests included Kirsty’s older sister Lois, a bridesmaid, and younger brother Jonathan, an usher.

Her other brother Roderick was unable to attend the second wedding.