Wed by the Wayside

Wed by the Wayside by Alana Valentine


ISBN
9780645818017
Published
Binding
Paperback
Pages
320
Dimensions
153 x 234mm

The fascinating true story of Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross, Sydney – a quiet revolution in Australian history, from a side street of the red-light district.

Alana Valentine's mother, Janice, was married by the charismatic and controversial Methodist minister Ted Noffs at the Wayside Chapel in 1969. Not long after that, however, Janice died, leaving behind many unresolved questions for her family. Years later, Alana found a photo of her mother on her wedding day, and the longing to speak to her about that day – a day when her mother radiated hope for a new beginning – drove her to seek out and find others who had begun new chapters of their lives at Wayside, an institution that is etched into the folklore of Sydney and this country more generally.

As part of the research process for the play that was to become Wayside Bride, staged at Belvoir Theatre in 2022, Alana set up a website where people could upload stories and photos of their own marriages. This book contains many of the remarkable stories that didn't make their way into the play, stories that reshape our understanding of this country's social history, from a uniquely Australian institution where people have been welcomed for decades in spite of social taboos around race, class, religion and sexuality.

This book is also a deeply personal and emotional quest, as Alana searches for her own origin story and what really happened on that day in 1969. Wayside Bride is a celebratory ode to the different, the discarded, the broken and the brave who changed the world from Kings Cross, Australia.
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RRP: $34.99
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