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Poppy’s gown is looking good after 160 years

Emily Kent at the christening in Lee on the Solent of her daughter  Poppy Nelson (eight mths), who is wearing a gown which has been in Emily's family for 160 years. 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141338-3) PPP-140405-171501003

Emily Kent at the christening in Lee on the Solent of her daughter Poppy Nelson (eight mths), who is wearing a gown which has been in Emily's family for 160 years. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141338-3) PPP-140405-171501003

WEARING a 160-year-old christening gown little Poppy Nelson looks as pretty as a picture.

Her mum Emily Kent’s family have carefully passed the heirloom on through the generations, with almost all children wearing it for the ceremonies.

And it was made even more special as eight-month-old Poppy was christened at Lee Methodist Church in Lee-on-the-Solent, where 24-year-old Emily was also christened decades ago.

Emily, of Heather Close, Bridgemary, Gosport, said: ‘I felt proud that I was doing my mum proud. I was christened in that church 24 years ago.

‘It was so nice to have Poppy christened and to have her in such a nice family possession.’

Emily’s christening was reported in The News in 1990, as she wore the gown then looked after by her gran Doreen Hendley.

Back then Doreen kept the gown in a drawer at her home in Nursery Close, Gosport. But after she died it was handed down to Emily’s mum Gwyneth Down, 51.

Gwyneth, of Leith Avenue, Portchester, said she hand-washed it last year and was delighted Poppy wore it on Sunday.

She said: ‘It was lovely actually, it invoked lots of memories of when Emily was christened in 1990.

‘Both of my older two daughters were christened in that church at around that age.

‘It’s quite nice to have something so traditional.’

Emily added the gown dictated when Poppy’s service took place as they had to wait until it fitted.

She added: ‘It was a brilliant day, it went too quickly.’

Poppy’s dad James Nelson, 26, said: ‘It’s amazing that we can keep something for so long in the family and that it’s still as pristine when it was first worn.’

The white cotton lawn full-length dress has been in the family since 1918. It has survived in immaculate condition.

It was given to the family by another after their only son was killed in World War One.

 

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