This film is part of Free

Wedding at the Grand in Plymouth

A joyous occasion of marrying a man in uniform as rare moving images are taken in Plymouth.

Non-Fiction 1940 1 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The wedding party is exiting the Grand Hotel in Plymouth in the era when it was common to marry in uniform. The groom is an RAF Flight Sergeant and this is also the era of rationing so beg, steal or borrow is the motto. Prospective newlyweds face the difficulty of sourcing a wedding dress while their guests offer a mishmash of fashion styles although hair in updos or victory rolls and a drawn-on back seam underneath stockings are the female fashion statements of the day.

Community spirit reigned supreme in the 1940s and weddings were often dependent on generous donations of coupons and wedding paraphernalia. The Grand Hotel was located on Elliot Street but has since been redeveloped into residential housing. This is a rare film donated by the Leatherby family. In 1934 Edward Stanley Leatherby became Mayor and in 1949 Edward's brother, Frank Geoffrey Leatherby became Lord Mayor. The brothers are also known for their amateur filmmaking and for having captured on 8mm film some important historical and cultural events for the City of Plymouth including the only known films taken during World War II because of a ban on all photography in and around the city.