Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 25 February 1911
Bridegroom with Broken Back.
Remarkable Wedding Prospect
A Denaby Romance.
There is to be solemnised at Denaby within the next fortnight a marriage which is surely unique in the annals of matrimony. The banns are at present in the publishing, of Joseph Raynor and Florence Widdosoon, both of the parish of Denaby, and the prospective marriage is exciting widespread interest by reason, of the tact that the bridegroom has lain helpless on a bed suffering with a fractured spine, and that he will have to be carried into All Saints Church, at Denaby Main, for the performance the nuptials.
The bridegroom is 26 years of age, and is practically a native of Denaby Main, having been brought there by his father (who is still living) from Ilkestone when two years of age. Miss Widdowson is 21 years of age.
The accident which broke the young man’s back happened is the East plane district of the Denaby Main mine. He was a filler, and was at the time engaged in clearing away some debris from the working place, when a large weight of coal from an invisible slip fell across his back and fractured the spine. He was removed to Fullerton Hospital at Denaby, where he remained for six months, suffering the greatest pain with exemplary patience. He was removed to the Doncaster Infirmary, and lay there for nine months, leaving there on January 27 for the home of his future wife, at 33, Cliff View. Denali Main, where he at present lies.
He was, prior to the accident, a good, all-round sportsman, and was well known and well-liked, especially for his sunny temperament and unfailing good humour, which qualities, stand came in good steed in his present painful predicament. He was an exceptionally clever billiard player (though not related to the Mexborough Raynors), and often represented the Denby Institute in local matches. He is a nephew of Mr. Charles Raynor, of the “Eagle and Child Inn” at Conisboro”.
A “Times” reporter called upon him the other afternoon, and found him quite cheerful and comfortable and prepared to chat pleasantly. He told our man that the wedding would take place shortly, but that date had not been fixed. I expect it will be a secret wedding,” he said. “because if people knew whoa it was to be, the Denaby Church would not be big enough to hold all the folks who would come to see it.”
“And how will you go?” he was asked
“Oh, I expect they will reel me in a carriage. I haven’t been out since the accident – except in the ambulance.” he added, with a touch of grimness. While he talked he picked up his pipe and settled down to a comfortable smoke. I never cared much for smoking before the accident.” he explained. “except a cigarette now and then; but about six months ago at Doncaster, I took to the pipe, and now I would rather go without a meal than be without it. I have many luxuries, but this is one. I find it soon as my nerves and makes up for a lot.”
His bed is brought up to the parlour window, and he would break off every now and then during the chat to nod pleasantly to an occasional friend passing along the street. He is perfectly well and healthy, except for his injury, but he’s quite paralysed in his lower limbs.
It seems that he and Miss Widdowson were engaged at the time of the accident, and the approaching marriage is an example of their constancy. The girl intends not merely to be his wife, but his nurse, and his lifelong companion. It is quite a romantic story, and there is a pathetic human note in it. The girl’s father has himself been incapacitated from work for some years.
The couple probably managed by the Vicar of Denaby, the Reverend S.F. Hawkes.