Marriage in the 1950s and 60s | From wedding vows to happily ever after?

Tonight | Gretna Green

Teenage runaways head for Gretna Green.

CHANNEL | BBC Television Service

FIRST BROADCAST | 14 May 1957

DURATION | 1 minutes 48 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1957

Synopsis

The existence of a Scottish law that permits marriage at the age of 16 without parental consent has resulted in an influx of English teenagers crossing the border to get married. However, couples need to have lived in Scotland for a minimum of 15 days to qualify, causing English couples to live together before marriage, thus 'endangering their morals'. Derek Hart reports for the current-affairs programme.

Did you know?

In 1754, a change in English marriage law resulted in more couples travelling north from England to marry at Gretna Green. There, a couple were usually married by the blacksmith, although any person could adopt the task, while the ceremony might take place in the local tollhouse, inn or hall. Today, many weddings are still carried out in the Old Blacksmith's Shop (known as the 'Old Smithy') in Gretna Green.

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