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Gants Hill shop reunites woman with marriage certificate of greatgrandparents who wed in Stratford more than 100 years ago

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 February 2020

Vincent Goodman, owner of Speedprint in Gants Hill, with the marriage certificate of Ernest Brewster and Lucy Quinlan. Picture: Vincent Goodman

Vincent Goodman, owner of Speedprint in Gants Hill, with the marriage certificate of Ernest Brewster and Lucy Quinlan. Picture: Vincent Goodman

Vincent Goodman

The great-granddaughter of a couple who married in Stratford more than 100 years ago has been reunited with their wedding certificate by a printing shop in Gants Hill.

Vincent Goodman, who owns Speedprint, said the document was left in his shop at least 15 years ago.

The certificate is a record of the marriage of Ernest Brewster and Lucy Quinlan at the West Ham Tabernacle church, West Ham Lane, on October 5, 1918.

Ernest and Lucy, who were both from West Ham at the time of the wedding, were 23 and 20 respectively on their big day.

Now their great-granddaughter Alison Brewster, 41, is set to be given the certificate after contacting Vincent, who had posted it on Facebook.

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She said: "It was really, really good to find out it had been found and it was possible to get it back."

Alison, who was born and raised in Gants Hill but now runs a pub in Stokesby, Norfolk, said Ernest and Lucy were married for 45 years until Ernest's death in 1963.

She says the family lived in east London and the couple even spent some time in America.

She remembers seeing Lucy, who passed away in 1990, when she was a little girl.

The certificate described Ernest as a member of the Royal Fusiliers and Alison, who is researching her family history, added: "The certificate is a nice thing to have and will help to do more on Ernest's military stuff. Every time you get hold of a certificate you have that bit more information."

Vincent revealed the shop, in Cranbrook Road, was having a "clear-out" and, rather than dispose of the certificate, put it on Facebook. He said Alison came forward withing 24 hours of the post.

Calling it an "unusual" case, Vincent added: "If people accidentally leave documents or photos in the copier, we usually try to make contact with them. I really didn't want to dispose of the certificate as it is an historical document. I have looked at it many times over the years, wondering why the owner didn't think of coming back to collect it."


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