Saturday 4th August 2012
Renata and Paul’s wedding at St Columb Minor Church, Newquay, with Lola on Saturday 4th August 2012
Lola outside St Columb Minor Church on Saturday
I waved all the way to Newquay today in Lola writes Chauffeur Bob.
People were slowing as they passed me on the A30, phone cameras in hand. A few I recognised, most I didn’t, but as ever I smiled, waved and posed!
Whilst I was making my way north eastwards attracting attention, my thoughts turned to today’s bride Renata. No doubt feverishly getting ready and like me, hoping that the pesky looking rain clouds wouldn’t find us.
My customary early arrival enabled a quick wipe over of Lola following a brief encounter with a shower cloud that chased us the last mile or so into Cornwall’s surf capital, and won!
Renata with her escort, Granddad Jack, in Lola on Saturday
A quick plump of her cushions and it was time to open up Lola’s legendary ragtop sunroof, big enough to cover the Olympic stadium. This done, I drove the last few hundred metres and pulled up outside the designated pick-up address.
I’m accustomed by now to experiencing wedding households on the most important day of all days. ‘That Place’ – seldom calm, usually a cocktail of industrious activity, charged emotions and jangling nerves. Today was clearly going to be no exception… immediately upon arrival I met Rick who had not long arrived and was on bridesmaid chauffeuring duty. Rick needed to enter the house to rescue his shirt but seemed apprehensive to say the least!
I knocked the door just to let Renata know I was there. ‘That place’ was buzzing with frenetic activity… bride Renata, bridesmaids; Emma, Claire, Sarah & Rania and bride’s mum, Susan, all applying the seemingly endless list of final touches. Meanwhile, boys Callum and Adam set about doing what smartly dressed boys do – I concluded some time ago that it would be best to get young boys attired a few seconds before the ceremony!
Jack, Renata, Adam, Callum, Emma and mum Susan departing for the church
The calming influence came in the guise of Renata’s granddad and escort Jack. We had a lovely chat and it was clear that Jack was immensely proud to be giving Renata away. A great sense of humour and warmth shone through. Just four years away from being a Centurion, Jack emblazoned with campaign medals from his service with The RAF, remained an oasis of calm!
Unsurprisingly, we had a late departure but eventually, Renata, Granddad Jack, mum Susan, along with Callum, Adam and flower girl Emma, set off in Lola. Somehow the frenetic activity seemed to continue! A little sing along and some calming words of wisdom from Chauffeur Bob helped… a bit.
The sun came out as we neared St. Columb Minor Church some 15 minutes behind schedule. I paused briefly to open Lola’s ragtop for our royal arrival whilst Susan battled to keep the smartly attired boys, smartly attired!
We could hear the county’s second tallest belfry reverberating as the seven campanologists set about their duty. Bridesmaids, Vicar Chris, and photographer, David Williams, were all there to warmly greet the bridal party at the less mountainous side entrance.
The wind picked up slightly as the bridal procession gracefully made their way into the church and awaiting congregation.
Although threatening at times, the weather up until now had remained warm and reasonable. Time for a quick coke, bag of crisps and chat with a couple of the church’s campanologists at a special meeting place; the adjacent Farmers Arms!
Time for a celebration with champers in Lola
Approximately forty minutes later, the belfry sprang back into life. Renata and Paul stepped outside as Mr. and Mrs. Tildesley to receive congratulations from family and friends.
A large line-up, leading down to the main entrance was orchestrated and on cue from photographer, Dave, the happy couple made their way through a corridor of confetti and affection towards Lola. One by one Lola was progressively getting spotted and was soon wowing her audience.
The newlyweds stepped aboard. I took the safety catch of the champers and the cork flew pretty much instantaneously without too much coaxing.
Glasses now charged we slowly departed with bride and groom now standing returning the waves and cheers of guests and onlookers.
Size 7 flip-flops in pink please Paul!
The plan was to head up the north coast a few miles, past Porth Beach, through Watergate Bay and onto Mawgan Porth beach and rendezvous with bridesmaids and other members of the party for beach photos. As we started our slow but steady ascent out of Porth, a rather large, pesky cloud caught up with us (not difficult at the speed Lola goes) and burst.
The girls ‘party’ in Lola!
Fortunately, by the time we arrived at Mawgan Porth the cloud had lost interest and was off being pesky somewhere else. The sun came out and no time was wasted as Lola’s roof was rolled all the way back and the warmth came flooding in. Renata had misplaced her flip-flops so Paul popped to the beach shop opposite in search of some size seven’s. Meanwhile, the mischievous bridesmaids arrived, alighted Lola with a bottle of ‘Passion Pop’, cranked up Bob Marley and the girls started partying, combining with Lola to put on quite a spectacle for passing holiday makers!
Paul soon returned with a pair of pink flip flops – must be the quickest purchase in living history of ladies shoes, I thought to myself.
Wedding shoes now exchanged for flip flops, Renata, Paul and party made their way with photographer Dave onto the beach. The weather was now perfect and they were to be gone for quite some time. I stayed with Lola as the music played on and received loads of inquisitive admirers, satisfied numerous brochure requests and photo poses. I had a long, ‘classic car’ interesting chat with Paul’s dad, Phil who, like many, was seduced by Lola.
A fabulous sign for ‘Wheels’ (Paul) and Ren greeted them at their reception venue
The party eventually returned and although they clearly had a great time on the beach, Renata and Paul were getting concerned that they really should be heading to the reception and their awaiting guests. The bridesmaids clearly wanted a ride in Lola as well, so they all jumped in to join Mr. and Mrs. for the last leg of the journey.
Time to say goodbye
Lola, replete with her very happy VIP’s, chugged the final few miles eastwards along the coast road to the National Trust’s spectacular Park Head for Renata and Paul’s stunning marquee based reception.
We arrived under a blue sky to a wonderfully warm welcome. Alas it was time to say our goodbyes and after posing for a few final photos, I turned Lola around and pointed her home.
Renata and Paul joined their guests for more Passion Pop and, I’m sure, a truly wonderful evening.
Congratulations and best wishes to a smashing couple x