From the Norwood Vaults: the first married couple at Ravenswood

14 February 2019

By Elly Southwell, Norwood’s Project Archivist

For our regular archive feature we’ve found a story which is full of love.

Jennifer and Alan Dolties were the first and only couple to be married while living at Ravenswood, Norwood’s collection of homes for adults with learning disabilities set in over 120 acres of Berkshire countryside.

Having been boyfriend and girlfriend for some time, Jennifer and Alan were married by Rabbi Romain on 26 May 1991 at the old Maidenhead Synagogue. Jennifer converted to Judaism and they were married for 14 years until Alan sadly passed away in 2005.

Jennifer has fond memories of her wedding day which she wrote down when I visited Jennifer at her home recently:

During my visit, she kindly showed me her veil which can be seen in the picture, as well as her wedding dress which is embroidered with lots of pretty silk flowers.

Jennifer remembers getting ready in her flat the morning of the wedding and having her friend Jackie Andresier, who still lives at Ravenswood, as her bridesmaid. There was a big reception afterwards in The Green at Ravenswood and they travelled to Devon for their honeymoon.

I also spoke to Julian Primhak, who lives at Ravenswood. He told me about the suit he wore for the wedding and remembers: “The reception was in The Green where I live now. They had a disco and I had a lovely dance. It was very nice. There was also a big cake.”

A very big thank you goes to Jennifer for allowing me to share the story of her and Alan’s wedding day, for showing me all her lovely photos when I went to visit her and for taking the time to talk to me about her special day. Thank you also to support staff at Beiteinu for their assistance, to Julian for sharing his memories, and to Sarah Pammer for bringing Jennifer and Alan’s story to my attention.

Jennifer and Alan’s wedding holds very happy memories for many at Ravenswood and will no doubt be remembered for a long time to come.