7th April 1934

An attempted elopement fails

In the 1930s, it simply wasn’t done to get married without first obtaining your father’s permission. Ada Maud West learned that the hard way when, in 1934, she was intercepted by police upon arrival in Jersey.

The 19-year-old had fallen in love with 25-year-old Edward Fray, a colleague at the cinema where they both worked. When he got a job in Jersey and announced that he was leaving, the two made the decision to elope. They bought tickets for the midnight sailing of the Southern Railway Company’s steamer, Isle of Sark, and she hid in a cabin until they were underway.

The police were waiting

However, someone at the cinema had let slip, and her father, discovering what they were up to, had hurried to Southampton docks to retrieve her. Unable to find her onboard, he had no choice but to disembark before it set sail, so called ahead to Jersey so that police could be standing by when the steamer arrived.

They intercepted the pair, split them up and took the girl directly to the airport. She was put on the next flight to Southampton Municipal Aerodrome to be met by both of her parents. Whether the pair were ever reunited is not recorded in the papers of the time. Neither was Ada West’s reaction when she was greeted by her mother and father and escorted to their waiting car.


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