Leeds nostalgia: charity shop wedding dress a real ‘Fifties fashion find’

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This vintage wedding dress, originally donated to a Leeds charity shop, is on display as part of celebration of the best of 50s fashion. It was something of a mystery when it was first handed to staff at the Sue Ryder shop in Headingley in March last year.

Donated by an elderly male customer, who did not give his name, the navy blue dress was thought to be made from parachute silk but was later found to be made from a fabric called rayon grosgrain.

The customer left a photo from his wedding day and a note saying the dress had been bought for his late wife in 1953 at a shop on Commercial Street for eight guineas.

Staff were keen to track the gentleman down and say thank you for the touching donation and after an appeal, eventually identified 86-year-old grandfather Gordon Dickinson.

His wife, Peggy, passed away in 2011.

The dress was later acquired by Leeds Museums and Galleries, who have put it on show.

Coun Brian Selby, Leeds Council’s member for museums, said: “Not only is this dress a superb example of 50s fashion, it also has a wonderful and touching story behind it.

“Items like this show that history can be found in all kinds of places and the amount of interest the story of this dress generated also shows how keen people are to find out the storied behind the exhibits.”

The Age of Glamour will be at Lotherton Hall until December 31. Usual estate admission applies.

For more details, visit this website: www.leeds.gov.uk/ageofglamour.