Wringing in the rain with funshine to follow!

Becky and Bobbi’s wedding at Colan Church, Newquay, with Lola and Lily on Tuesday 21st August 2012

Becky and Bobbi arriving at the Atlantic Hotel, Newquay, today.

An accurate weather forecast for today should have gone something like this; dry all day apart from a sustained 30 minute cloud burst over Colan Church Newquay, TR8 4NB, starting at 1:00 pm exactly with a glorious sunshine chaser!

Regular readers of our blogs (and we seem to be collecting quite a few – some far afield) would quickly deduce that every wedding is uniquely different and of course very special. Today’s was certainly no exception and from a chauffeuring perspective, had a few interesting and challenging moments, writes Chauffeur Bob!

Talking firstly about the art of deduction, it would appear this is something us British are particularly attuned to… You can picture the scene; two extremely shiny, glamorous classic VW split screen campervans pull onto a busy forecourt. Each decorated in bows, ribbons, bunting and love hearts, complete with fully booted and suited chauffeurs.  Obviously not much of a giveaway I grant you but, nonetheless, it is surprising how just many people comment “are you on the way to a wedding”.

It was Chauffeur Steff and I (Chauffeur Bob) that had the honour and privilege in driving Lily and Lola respectively for Becky and Bobbi’s lovely wedding today. Following the aforementioned pit-stop, we pointed our girls eastwards up the A30 and headed for Chivy Cross and Newquay beyond.

Lola ready and waiting for bride, Becky, in Newquay.

Delicious cream and white ragtop splitties Lola and Lily were especially decorated with Cadbury purple ribbons and colour coordinated Gerberas. They were about to enthral the most discerning of taste buds.  As always they had created quite a stir, even before our arrival and the day getting officially underway.

The plan was for Lily, under the auspices of Chauffeur Steff, to collect Bobbi, his Best Man, Ricky, Ushers, Wade and Martin along with Becky’s brother, Thomas from a last minute change of address. Take them to Colan church and to rendezvous with Lola at the bride’s pick up address. From here, Lily would be taking Bridesmaids, Rosey, Lucy, Sarah, Remie and Becky’s Mum, Rachel with Becky and her Dad, Gareth, travelling in Lola with Chauffeur Bob at the pedals, in convoy to the church.

Becky with her dad, Gareth, leaving for church in Lola.

We arrived in Newquay in good time and before splitting up, we gave both vehicles the customary once over by the boating lake before Chauffeur Steff made his move to collect the boys, literally a stone’s throw away. I held back for a few minutes in Lola as it was still a tad too early to arrive at the bride’s address, also just a mere hop, skip and jump.

Ten minutes later a concerned Chauffeur Steff called me to explain that he was having difficulty finding the house number. Some good detective work from Chauffeur and ‘super sleuth’ Steff, revealed that the address was hidden away down another road, seemingly with a completely different name.

Becky’s mum, Rachel, with Bridesmaids, Rosey, Lucy, Sarah and Remie.

With an allotted ceremony time of midday, I eventually made my way in Lola for an 11:30 arrival at ‘That Place’ of industrious activity like no other on a wedding day, where all the ladies get ready – hair, make-up, dresses, jangling nerves. Notwithstanding the occasional dispute for bathroom access!

I was duly greeted in warm fashion and quickly introduced to Becky’s parents, Gareth and Rachel. The bridesmaids appeared ready to rock ‘n’ roll as did Becky, albeit just needing to change into her wedding gown.

Photographer John Wood, a familiar face, was there to capture the bridal party’s departure.

Gareth explained his early start to the day as he had been at work since 4am with the family’s fruit business.

Pre nuptial bridal party with Vicar, Chris, at Colan Church, Newquay.

We all planned to depart at circa 11:45 for the relatively short trip to Colan Church. Chauffeur Steff called at about this time on his way back from delivering the boys to say that he was literally a few hundred yards away but the holiday traffic was bumper to bumper.

Lily arrived a few minutes later, much to the excitement of the wedding party, neighbours, onlookers and well wishers. Everyone alighted and we set off in convoy, Claxons sounding amidst some frantic royal waving. Gareth took a real shine to my chauffeur’s cap and in particular Lola’s Claxon – Christmas isn’t too long to wait!

Fortunately we were going in the right direction and we could see the inbound Newquay traffic that had served to frustrate Chauffeur Steff, just a few minutes earlier. They were all happily waving at us though. No doubt a welcome sight to relieve the boredom of traffic jams. I could see the girls (and Chauffeur Steff) in Lily up ahead reciprocating and clearly having some fun.

Lily, Lola and big red bus outside Colan Church Newquay.

There are three possible routes into Colan Church. All narrow and endlessly winding, all seemingly going nowhere. It somehow reminds me of Brigadoon, the story of a mysterious village that appears for only one day every hundred years.

Fortunately the church eventually appeared today, the 21st August 2012, at about 12:10pm.

A fine example of multi tasking!

As we approached, I let Chauffeur Steff steal a lead to enable his VIP’s to disembark in time to officially greet Becky and her dad along with Vicar, Chris.

Parking in the narrow lanes surrounding the church is somewhat challenging and was made even trickier by the two large buses that had brought the congregation. Just to add a further complication we could see that one of the buses had shed some vital fluids outside the church and had to limp off home to be replaced.

A proud mum and dad, Rachel and Gareth, in Lily

Fortunately we found a safe spot to land. A few photos ensued with Lola, and Becky and Gareth joined Vicar Chris, Bridesmaids and mum, Rachel for another group shot before finally making their procession into the church.

Up until this time the weather had remained calm and sunny at times but as the ceremony progressed inside, the clouds were gathering.

The sun comes out and smiles return – Bobbi and Becky in Lola.

At 1:00 pm exactly, the church’s campanologists swung into action to announce the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Mead and, with impeccable timing, the heavens opened. It was as if they had also pulled a celestial lever somewhere… It really was wringing in the rain!

We quickly mustered together a total of four umbrellas from Lola and Lily’s inventory and, with chauffeur Steff, made our way to the church. In the porch we could see the happy couple sheltering from the torrential downpour along with their entire congregation in close pursuit!

With no signs of the rain letting up we decided to make a dash with the bride and groom for Lola. So it was with umbrellas at the ready that we all made a mad dash for it, whilst at the same time keeping Becky’s train out of harm’s way. A truly successful exercise, perfectly executed, which in itself pours scorn on the scientifically proved nonsense about the inability of men to multi-task!

Chauffeurs Steff and Bob with the happy couple outside the Atlantic Hotel.

Although obviously elated, I couldn’t help noticing that Becky, in particular, looked somewhat downhearted at what the weather had served up at such a vital time. It had certainly scuppered their plans of family and friends photos outside the church. Steff and I did our best to raise spirits and attempted, and succeeded, in popping the champagne whilst holding umbrellas for ourselves and photographer John (a further example of sublime male multi-tasking).

“It’ll blow over soon – did you want the roof opened up?” I remember saying. My humour was clearly starting to work. Becky and Bobbi smiled and sipped away. In the meantime, I, Chauffeur Steff and photographer, John, helping with umbrella runs with guests from the church to the buses.  We  managed to get wringing wet but hopefully mitigated the effects of the rain on others.

We couldn’t leave until the buses had gone as there was not enough room but eventually got going and unsurprisingly the decision was made to head straight back to the Atlantic Hotel instead of the beach, as planned, for photos.  The bridesmaids joined guests in the buses so that Becky’s mum and dad could ride back in Lily.

As we turned off the long and winding road from Brigadoon, heading for Newquay, we could see blue sky, and lots of it! This really did raise spirits and within minutes we had stopped, opened up Lola’s full length, famous ragtop and let the funshine in!

We continued in convoy to the hotel to be greeted with a wonderful regal arrival, bathed in lovely warm sunshine.

The possibility of going to the beach was now looking a distinct possibility, so we decided to nip Lola and Lily round the back of the hotel, give them a quick once over and dry ourselves off whilst Becky and Bobbi had celebratory drinkies with their guests.

Time for a final photo – note the cloudless sky!

Unfortunately time was running out, as a line-up had been arranged. So instead of going to the beach we positioned Lola and Lily by the hotel’s terrace, with a vista to die for and a few final pictures, expertly taken by John and his lovely assistant Katie.

Hugs and kisses followed as we said our goodbyes and with a few blasts on our Claxons we departed for Strawberry Leisure HQ.

A truly lovely day, albeit challenging at times, but as ever, immensely rewarding!



Congratulations to a truly lovely couple xx

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