ANVIL SERVICES DEFENDED.
(From the Guardian's Special Correspondent—By Air Mail).
LONDON, October 12
A special committee, on which women will serve, is to be appointed soon by the Secretary for Scotland to consider whether the Scottish marriage law should be changed. Gretna Green marriages will be specially considered.
Richard Rennison, the Gretna Green blacksmith who has married hundreds of couples over his anvil, defends his anvil services. He says: "Not Gretna alone, but the whole law of Scotland, will have to be changed if marriage abuses are to be prevented." Mr Rennison said he had done everything to tighten up conditions of marriage. He introduced a declaration form which had to be signed. This stated that the person signing had resided 21 days in Scotland, and promised to register the ceremony within 21 days. "Every woman who comes here, as well as the man she marries, must know if he has lived the requisite twenty-one days in Scotland," he said. "We cannot be held responsible for silly people who break their own undertakings. I installed a telephone and informed the press whenever cases of romantic or other public interest occurred. Couples of whose bona fides I was doubtful have been sent away. We have turned away many such. I hold myself responsible for my own actions, believing in the practical side of Christianity, in living a Christian life and not shouting it. It is only common sense to make registration compulsory. If it were 4ione it would relieve me of worry and make things easy. I do not believe, however, that the religious cheremony would do the least good. Marriage is a civil contract. If Gretna Green were abolished to-morrow, there would still be bad marriages, but there would be no Gretna to blame for them."
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GRETNA GREEN, Ellesmere Guardian, Volume LVI, Issue 85, 8 November 1935
GRETNA GREEN Ellesmere Guardian, Volume LVI, Issue 85, 8 November 1935
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