In September 1931 Doris Peach, youngest daughter of John and Susan Peach, married James Hillier. The Western Gazette reported After the ceremony there was a gathering of relatives and friends at the bride’s home and John Hillier, son of the groom, has kindly provided this photograph, taken in the garden of 59 / 61 High Street Shaftesbury. John Peach holds a cat while immediately to his left is his granddaughter Margaret Hussey, who in 1930 was Carnival Queen following in the family tradition of supporting fundraising activities for the local hospital. Margaret’s parents, Hilda (nee Peach) and Sidney Hussey stand on either side of her in the row behind. Immediately to John’s right is his daughter Margaret Rosina, one of the bridesmaids, and to her right the bride, Doris. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of beige lace, with hemp straw hat to tone and carried a bouquet of pink roses. On the bride’s right is her husband, and on his right his sister, Mary Hillier, also a bridesmaid. The bridesmaids wore dresses of Provence blue lace, with Baku straw hats, and carried bouquets of pink carnations.
All three of John’s daughters were active in the St John Ambulance Brigade, the members of which formed a guard of honour at the church. The public-spirited nature of the family’s extraordinary contribution to life in Shaftesbury is captured in this free temporary exhibition which runs until the end of the month. Many of the documents must then be given a rest from prolonged exposure to light. The “Shaftesbury” locomotive name-plate, donated to the town by James Hillier in 1964 after a long and successful career in railway engineering, remains on permanent display in Room 3.