The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

The bride, groom and guests pose in front of the Spitfire at Nidderdale Agricultural showground.
The bride, groom and guests pose in front of the Spitfire at Nidderdale Agricultural showground.

Thanks for the memories. The Pateley Bridge 1940s weekend provided bucket loads of them. The wedding of retired Reverend Chris Stark MBE, 82, to Olive Moyses, 75, who had not been married before was always going to be a very special occasion.

The procession of 1940s vehicles going up the High Street to the Methodist Church for the service was led by the Pateley bus, followed by the bridesmaids in a Rolls Royce, Her Majesty the Queen’s representative David Kerfoot MBE DL, the groom and best man all in jeeps. Chris Stark was attired in a navy uniform as he had served as a Royal Navy chaplain.

The church was packed and the service was a joyous occasion for everyone.

The bride and groom after the service came out of the church to be greeted by cheering crowds and members of the Harrogate Sea cadets who had formed a guard of honour for them. Mr and Mrs Stark got into the 1940s Rolls Royce wedding car which set off for its journey down Pateley Bridge High Street. Marching in front of the car playing the bagpipes were two pipers in kilts and military dress.

The street was lined on both sides with well wishers clapping and cheering the newlyweds.

The newlyweds’ family and friends travelled to the Nidderdale Agricultural showground were they had photos taken in front of the Spitfire plane. Some of the amazing photographs you will see in this paper were taken by Mellisa Peakman who lives locally. Mellisa very generously photographs the events of the weekend on behalf of the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade who organise it.

After a wedding reception in Summerbridge the couple attended as guests of honour that evening at the Memorial Hall where a 1940s dance was taking place. It had been a long day for the couple but I do not think throughout any of it they ever stopped smiling.

When they arrived and when they left the dance later they were given a standing ovations. I am sure anyone who witnessed any part of the wedding day will remember it for a long time, it was truly heartwarming. I want to the newlyweds a long healthy and happy marriage which I am sure everyone wishes for them.

On the Sunday it rained for much of the earlier part of the day. The rain did not dampen the spirits of those taking part or attending as visitors. A service of remembrance was held at the Methodist Church conducted by the Rev Mike Poole.

David Kerfoot MBE DL representing the Queen was guest of honour and kindly laid a wreath at the service.

There was also another very special guest at the service. Doris Hatcher who is 92 came along to the church to recount her memories of when she had been a land army girl in the war time years stationed near to Pateley Bridge. Doris talked at the Church service about her experiences during the 1940s as a land army girl and how on a weekend she rode on her bike to Pateley Bridge to meet her friend.

The whole congregation listened intently to her words, mesmerised by the stories.

I am delighted that the weekend raised substantial amounts of money from donations for Pateley Bridge Methodist Church, registered charities Dementia Forward, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Marie Curie and others.

A little bit of bad weather did not spoil the weekend which everyone seems to agree was a resounding success with so many happy memories.