High-Speed High Seas Romance

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Snippets of Yesteryear

The Sunday Post – Sunday 21 August 1949

High-Speed High Seas Romance For Mary From High Blantyre.

24-year-old Mary LimerickPretty 24-year-old Mary Limerick said farewell to her widowed mother at 42 Stonefield Crescent, High Blantyre, and set out to seek her fortune in Australia.

She was barely a day on the high seas before she encountered romance. Yesterday her mother received a cable saying Mary was married to a young Highland emigrant, James Bickerstaff, whom she met aboard the liner.

Mary formerly worked in the bakery department of Blantyre Co-operative Society. Stationed with the W.R.N.S. for a year in Sydney during the war, she was greatly taken on with life in Australia. Ultimately she decided Sydney held better prospects for her than did her home town.

On July 8 Mary emigrated. She had no particular friends in Australia, but there was a job waiting for her in Sydney. She joined the liner at Tilbury Docks, London.

Dash Ashore To Wed

Travelling on the same ship to Australia was the young Highlander, James Bickerstaff. They became friendly. A few days later James proposed, and Mary accepted. They arranged to marry at the first available opportunity. After an interview with the ship’s chief officers they were granted permission to leave the liner at Perth, Western Australia. There they hurried to a registrar and the knot was tied. The newly-weds had just time to have luncheon celebration before returning to the ship.

As a result of her marriage the Blantyre girl did not go to Sydney as she’d intended. She left the ship when it docked at Melbourne, and she intends obtaining a job there. This is only a temporary arrangement, however, as her husband has carried on to Victoria, where a job awaited him with the Victoria State Electricity Commission. Husband and wife are now 200 miles apart, but when Mr Bickerstaff obtains the option on a house which he expects along with his employment they will be reunited. Mr. Bickerstaff worked in Glasgow for a few years before deciding to go to Australia. During the war he was a sergeant instructor in the Royal Air Force.


Janice Bickerstaff wrote on Facebook: Well well this is a true tale of romance. I’m proud to say that I married into this family nearly 30 years ago. Mary did indeed see her mother again. After having a daughter Morag, they both moved back to Blantyre. They had 2 more children, Alan and Ross. They lived in Teviot Way in Blantyre, not far from where her mother lived. Sadly Mary passed away on 1st January, 1988 and Jimmy on 22nd March, 2012. This article was read at Jimmy’s funeral. It’s such a great piece of family history. Thank you for posting this article Blantyre’s Ain bringing back lovely memories at such a poignant time.

Source: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk


Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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