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An Account by Mark Regan, 4th August, 2001

Just after 1030 on Saturday 4 August somewhere between a funeral parlour and a fire station, Heather Radford and Chris Pickford were married. The wedding meant an early start for many of the guests. The invitation said that it didn’t matter if you missed the ceremony; the celebrations would last all day. However the car park of Tunbridge Wells Registry Office soon filled up with families and friends, some recognising each other from dinner parties long gone by, and, as a famous composer struggled to park his car, a few ringers (and his wife) shared a good laugh.
It was a fun start to the day as we gathered in a small room to witness the wedding. The 10 o’clock wedding had turned up late and had to wait. Heather’s brother, Phil Brown, was held up in traffic and her elder son Mark stepped in at the last minute to be her witness. Somehow the chaos added to the occasion and after the legal bit was done and a few photos taken, the bride and groom were shown to a small room. Were the guests to follow? Some of us thought it was a bedroom. A disappointment: it was only the way out. A couple of girlies from Towcester showered the newly wed couple with confetti, hands were shaken and there were lots of hugs and smiles too. At last they had done it and we could all go and do some serious celebrating.

After bucks fizz in the garden of the Edward’s Brasserie and a well-oiled course of Grandsire Caters on handbells, family and friends sat down to consume a serious amount of superior wine and some very good food. Sue Colborne (the best boy) entertained us with a sparkling speech telling us that she agreed to be his ‘best man’ if Chris promised to be her bridesmaid. We are looking forward to Sue getting married. Heather and Chris, happy and glowing, separately thanked us for being with them and for our support whilst they have been an ‘item’. The only sad note of the day was that Chris’s and Heather’s parents had not lived to be with them on their wedding day. The afternoon quickly passed as family and friends talked, laughed and groaned as we heard that Australia had won another Test Match.

After a night in a posh hotel (would Chris boogie the night away?) Mr and Mrs Pickford were off to Cornwall for a week’s post nuptial vacation and a blessing at St Buryan. As evening approached and we said our farewells it was wonderful to know that our two close friends were married.

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