Clare and Rob’s wedding at St Crantoc Church with Lola on Thursday 14th June 2012
Rob and Clare take shelter and celebrate in Lola at Fistral beach on Thursday
Regular readers of our blogs would recognise that weddings are uniquely individual, each having their own memorable occasions; their own story to tell. They are, of course, all beautiful and deeply special. On Thursday, despite horrendous weather, Clare and Rob’s was no exception. A well sprung Lola surprise, a pause in proceedings for an ‘Interflora’ moment, a stormy Fistral beach and a defining moment of profound inspiration for Chauffeur Bob…
Lola looked her stunning self, resplendent in Clare and Robs special colours for the day; white and yellow. We simply love these vehicles and although we are extremely privileged to own them, we never cease to be amazed by their mesmerising looks!
A slightly later start for me, Chauffeur Bob, meant I had chance to take care of a few important domestic chores before setting off. One of which was a trip to the Post Office. I picked up a copy of the Western Morning News… ‘Atlantic Storm Warning for West, three months rain in four days’. I daren’t look at the Daily Express, most probably ‘Killer Rain, the world will drown today!’
Clearly, we were in for some rough weather later today. Best be safe than sorry, so I packed my fluorescent jacket, buoyancy aid and whistle to attract attention and made haste to the picturesque Cornish village of Crantock in Lola.
Neither groom or bride were aware of Lola’s involvement in the proceedings. It was all a craftily hatched plan by the groom’s parents, Jan and Keith.
Rob with best man Kev before setting off for church on Thursday
Lola performed a total of three pre-nuptial collections, all of which were made in dry, albeit gusty conditions. First up for the surprise was the groom, Rob and his Best Man, Kev. I arrived in plenty of time to give Lola a final rub down before pulling into Treago Farm. Lola was a big hit with everyone, including the friendly owners and staff. A few pictures by photographer and work colleague of the bride, Marisa, it was then off to the church via the pub!
George, Jan, Marge and Keith leaving for the cremony in Lola on Thursday
A return trip to Treago Farm followed, this time with the groom’s parents Jan and Keith and grandparents, Marge and George. Again, the pub appeared to win favour over the church!
Bride’s dad Bill with Clare and bridesmaid, Kate
The second surprise was sprung soon afterwards as I arrived at a different location to collect Clare, her dad, Bill and bridesmaid, Kate. Apparently, Clare was expecting to use a friend’s Merc and her dad had even bought a chauffeurs cap to make the ruse believable. From the second everyone boarded however, I had a feeling something was missing! We arrived at the church only a few minutes distant to a warm welcome by the vicar and Marisa happily snapping away.
Bill returning with the bouquets after an ‘interflora’ dash in Lola
Just as the bridal party was about to start its procession towards the church entrance, Clare realised that the bouquets had been left behind. The vicar pressed the pause control on the proceedings, Bill jumped back on board Lola and we made a dash for the flowers.
All went well. Normality was soon restored and Mr. and Mrs. Parkin emerged, full of smiles at 3pm on the dot to the pealing of bells and with impeccable timing so did the 15:00 monsoon arrival from Mumbai!
Best man Kev and bridesmaid Kate on umbrella duty
Conditions quickly deteriorated, so no time was lost in getting the newlyweds inside Lola, the champagne opened, poured and underway for a Newquay reception at the Carn Marth Hotel, adjacent to Fistral beach.
Rob and Clare sip the champers and celebrate in Lola
Despite the appalling conditions, Clare and Rob decided that they would still like to go to Fistral beach as originally planned, if only to sip champagne amidst a menacing looking storm and allow guests time to get themselves settled. We chatted for some time and concluded that it had still been a memorable, fun day.
Clare and Rob remained philosophical about the weather, however I felt somewhat disappointed for them. Although they undoubtedly had a lovely time with Lola, it could and should have been so much better, given the time of year. I made a promise to them that when they are next in Cornwall to call and we’ll go out in Lola and get the shots they deserve.
I joined the wedding party inside the hotel to say our goodbyes before making my way back to Lola, by which time the weather had taken a significant turn for the worse. It was going to be a rough ride back to Strawberry leisure HQ.
Lola coped remarkably well considering these wonderful buses were a post war creation. The rain, wind and surface water was something I cannot recall ever experiencing in June. It was as if we were in the English Channel!
Chauffeur Bob with Rob and Clare outside the Carn Marth Hotel, Newquay
As we neared home, my thoughts turned once more to the promise I’d made to Clare and Rob. Whilst queuing in traffic with the monsoon-like rain unrelenting, I glimpsed a sign that profoundly spawned a new ground breaking industry initiative that we will be announcing very soon.
Chauffeur Bob gets another one of those interesting ideas?
In the meantime, best wishes and congratulations to a lovely couple who endured the worst that the great British summer weather could throw at them on their big day xx