Jarrow baby is set to keep family tradition going by wearing christening gown which is more than 100 years old
Little Gracie Wilksinson will keep tradition going when she becomes the next generation of her family to wear a christening gown which is more than 100 years old.
The eight-month old, from Jarrow, will be dressed in the lace garment which has been handed down her father Andrew Wilkinson’s family for her big day tomorrow.
Mum Donna is delighted that Gracie, who is the youngster of their four children, is able to fit into the gown for her Christening, which will be held at St Peter’s Church, in York Avenue, Jarrow.
The 32-year-old - who is also mum to Madeline, eight, Annalise, seven, and Jacob, two - said: “I think back then babies were christened right away, so the gown is quite small fitting. All of our other children have been a bit too big.
“Andrew was initially wearing it for his christening but the church cancelled the service at the last minute, so when he was later christened with his brother Daniel, he was too big and Daniel had the chance to wear it.
“When I discovered this I was determined that Gracie would wear it, to keep the tradition going for more generations.”
The first person to wear the outfit was Matt Scott, Gracie’s, great-great-great grandfather in the late 1800s.
Next to use it would have been great-great grandfather Stanley Scott, at around the turn of the century, followed by great-grandfather, also named Stanley in 1938, and then grandmother Susan Wilkinson (nee Scott) in 1965.
Plus a number of other relatives have also had their turn too.
Donna said: “Andrew’s gran has been trying to remember all of the names and dates and we’ve been working out their relationship to Gracie, but there’s a lot of cousins and great-great uncles and aunts who have also been christened in the gown - it gets a bit confusing!
“It used to be white, but it’s turned a shade of cream with age, but I don’t think that matters, it still looks beautiful.
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Gracie will be getting christened with her one-year-old cousin Lola Wilkinson.
Donna is hoping that her children will consider using the outfit for their future offspring.
She said: “Apart from the colour it’s in brilliant condition so I think it has a while to last yet.
“I think once they hear the story and realise how special the gown is they will all want to use it if they decide to have children.
“It’s such a lovely thing to have.”