Rivers Deep – Fountains High!

Saturday 7th July 2012

Lola and Lily left their hermetically sealed, cosy Strawberry Leisure Ark this morning. Just a few hours earlier and under cover of darkness, the heavens opened and deposited the contents of the Atlantic Ocean across the West Country. We had been warned though! An ‘Amber’ swiftly followed by a ’Red’ Met Office weather warning and a ‘don’t travel unless it is absolutely necessary’ chaser from Cornwall and Devon Constabulary set the scene for yet another weekend of disappointing wedding weather.

Unarguably, there can be nothing more ‘absolutely necessary’ than a wedding. It was at first light then that I Chauffeur Bob was first to leave our Hayle HQ in Lily on a flood tide and headed up the aptly named ‘Atlantic Highway’ in the direction of Bude. Chauffeur Steff arrived to collect Lola a few hours later and plotted a course for Mevagissey. The rains eventually eased. A mercy of modest proportions given the time of year, but everyone was nonetheless thankful. It was down to Lily and Lola to conjure a few rays of sunshine. They didn’t disappoint…

Lily Makes Perfect Rugby Match!

Stacey and Paul’s wedding with Lily on Saturday 7th July 2012

A rugby line-out of honour greets newleyweds Stacey and Paul on Saturday 

The strange thing about Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) is that they can get quite obsessive! For example; despite the horrendous weather predicted for Saturday 7th July, I (Chauffeur Bob) still set about giving Lily and Lola the ‘full-on’ Friday spa session before popping in for an afternoon on-air chat with Penwith Radio’s Pat Quayle (more on that later). Nothing was spared as usual; bodywork waxed and polished, glass polished, wheels polished and tyres blackened etc.

The eternal optimist me… but somehow I just knew that they would need doing all over again when they reached their respective wedding pick-up destinations. ‘A pessimist is a well informed optimist’, or so they say (whoever smarty pants ‘THEY’ are!), and yet notwithstanding the universally reported; ‘a lifetime’s rain to fall over the next 48 hours’, I somehow remained in denial. As did, I hasten to add, our brides in speaking to them as part of my pre-wedding day planning ritual. And why not!

A rejuvenated sparkling Lily awaits the bride and groom on Saturday 

My long trip up to Bude in Lily was in the main uneventful and although the heaviest of the rain had fallen during the night, driving conditions were far from ideal; lots of standing water and debris. The ‘mizzle’ was unrelenting though, combining to necessitate an inevitable second round of spa treatment for Lily.

A village hall car park a few hundred yards from the church is where I set about my ‘O.C.D.’ some 90 minutes or so before the ceremony. I had taken the unusual step of travelling up in my civvies in anticipation of this and had decided not to formally attire myself or indeed, Lily, in her bows and ribbons until after a post arrival rub-down.

Congratulations Stacey and Paul!

‘That industrious place’ where brides and bridesmaids get ready was adjacent to the church, so the plan today was for Lily to be outside to greet the happy couple and congregation after the ceremony. I parked up in a now rejuvenated Lily some 30 minutes into the proceedings. The tenacious mizzle, come light rain certainly didn’t prevent Lily from receiving oodles of attention from onlookers and passersby.

Paul, the groom, plays for Bude Rugby Club and I could see some of his teammates gathering around the church entrance, each holding a rugby ball aloft in a guard of honour like stance. Mr. and Mrs. Cholwill duly emerged through the ‘line-out of honour’ and made their way to the awaiting Lily flanked by a particularly large congregation. Lily wasted no time at all in spreading her own brand of sunshine and, as always, proved to be a huge hit with the guests. Photographers Allan and Kim from Morwenna Photography worked their cameras as the happy couple and Lily were showered in what seemed like a year’s worth of wedding confetti in just two minutes!

The champagne flowed and Paul sent one of his mates in search of Stacey’s specially acquired cream ‘Weddington Boots’ (with laces) and his more traditional ‘Alan Titchmarsh Green’ jobbies. With the paparazzi in hot pursuit, Stacey, Paul, Chauffeur Bob and two pairs of booties set off in Lily for a beachside photo session at Bude’s Widemouth Bay. On our way there we all had a little chat. Stacey said that she really loves Lily. I could tell that Paul was really fascinated by her as well and was asking plenty of questions.

The rain ebbed and flowed throughout but there was a distinct feeling that it was gradually clearing, just as the forecast said it would. We managed between showers to squeeze in a number of lovely poses including a set taken with Lily’s ragtop rolled fully back, something that looked virtually impossible earlier in the day.

Stacey and Paul having a fun time with Lily at Widemouth Bay Bude on Saturday

We eventually made the short trip from Bude’s Widmouth Bay to their reception Marquee of Big Top proportions. I soon learned why when Paul explained that their guest list totals in excess of 300! Lily’s ragtop was rolled back once more for our final approach and with Stacey and Paul now standing we made a right royal arrival alongside a specially made pathway leading to the Big Top. I could see that photographers Kim and Allan were ideally situated to capture the moment despite it being extremely boggy under foot.

Stacey modelling her Weddingtons whilst Paul carries his to the reception

Stacey and Paul had a lovely time with Lily as did everyone involved. However, I felt bitterly disappointed that yet again another couple have had to endure the worst seasonal weather we have seen since records began. We said our goodbyes and I pointed Lily westward down the Atlantic Highway.

Progressively I could see the weather clearing from the west. A few hours too late I thought. But hopefully Stacey, Paul and their 300 guests were in store for a much deserved sunny evening.


We look forward to seeing a selection of the professionally taken pictures by Allan and Kim soon and will add them to this blog.

Best wishes to a really lovely couple xx


Lola gets the hots for pink!

Heidi and William’s wedding at Mevagissey with Lola on Saturday 7th July 2012 

The debrief session with Chauffeur Steff confirmed my thoughts that his wedding day outing to Mevagissey in Lola enjoyed far more hospitable weather than my long haul trip in Lily to the far flung reaches of Bude and the Devon borders.

As you will be able to deduce from Chauffeur Steff’s report below, he was unable to take as many pictures as he would have liked for the blog, due to his photographic prowess being in high demand with guest cameras!

Chauffeur Steff has just posted the following report….

As always is good practice,  I arrived at Heidi’s collection address nice and early and gave Lola a good wipe down after the journey. My departure from Strawberry Leisure HQ today was extra early because of the severe weather warning across the county. Figuring that we needed extra time in case of flooded roads or fallen trees as anything can happen; it is July after all! Fortunately I needn’t have worried as the rain, all but a small shower, kept off.

Lola in ‘Hot Pink’ outside St Peter’s Church, Mevagissey on Saturday

After a short wait I was asked to collect everyone from the back of the house. I’d just got in to position when 5 lovely bridesmaids (Steph, Helen, Kristy, Lisa and Claire) came out followed by Heidi in a stunning white lace wedding dress. As it was still quite early, everyone decided we could do a photo shoot here in the street. The cameras were out and before long Lola was being snapped by everyone.

It seemed a good idea at the time when I offered to take a picture of everyone inside Lola, but then a mass of cameras were thrust upon me and one by one I took snaps of them enjoying the day.

Right… time to set off then. Er… not quite as it turned out that the bridesmaids had talked Heidi into one more photo shoot before the wedding. “If we leave now we’ll make it”, I heard as the door closed. Quite literally the sun burst through the dark grey sky as we started to head on out to Mevagissey. The plan was to have a few sneaky snaps taken on the old pier and then head on up the hill to the church and no one would be the wiser.

So you can imagine the commotion as we pulled in to Mevagissey and there was the groom walking down the main street, “DUCK”, I could hear one of the bridesmaids shout as they all threw themselves in front of his vision to prevent him from seeing the bride. A bit of quick thinking by the girls but I think we got away with it. We pulled off the main street in the direction of the pier.

Just as before, I became the duty photographer as the girls struck a pose to the mystical backdrop of the ancient fishing harbour.

Right, now it really was time to head to the church, which thankfully was only just up the road. As we pulled in at the church a small crowd of onlookers had gathered along with family friend John, Heidi’s escort.

Heidi was in great spirits and her nerves seemed to have settled as John escorted her up the path.

Heidi and William celebrate, making full use of Lily’s fabulous ragtop on Saturday

Normally, we hear the pealing of church bells signifying that the ceremony is complete and the imminent arrival of the bride and groom. In this instance however, it was the sound of cheering and clapping as Heidi and William stepped out as man and wife. For a while it seemed chaotic as the guests poured out of the church and occupied the tiny lane that circled the grounds. Champagne was served and everyone filled their cameras up with picture after picture whilst I filled the happy couple’s glasses.

Amidst screaming and whistling we set out from Mevagissey with Lola’s uniquely wonderful rag top rolled fully back and replete with Heidi, William and the bridesmaids heading back to St Austell for the reception.

As we travelled through the streets we were getting mixed reactions from passersby. Everyone was joining in the celebrations and cheering from the street side, despite one onlooker who appeared utterly puzzled by the whole affair. So much so, her expression made everyone burst out laughing.

Just a few miles down the road was the reception but virtually uphill all the way. Splitties, don’t like hills too much, but Lola made it as ever in her own time, creating quite a traffic back log… Oops!

Congratulations and best wishes to Heidi and William xx

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