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Nostalgia - Lavenham church hosts wedding of the year with 1,600 guests and special train services



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In 1962, East Anglia's wedding of the year was the marriage of 26-year-old Mr Patrick Wolrige-Gordon, Conservative MP for East Aberdeen, to Miss Anne Howard, daughter of Mr and Mrs Peter Howard, which took place at Lavenham parish church.

Mr Howard was one of the Moral Re-Armament leaders, and we reported that Mr Wolrige-Gordon's M.R.A. activities recently caused a rumpus in East Aberdeen.

This was all forgotten on the big day when former critics joined with friends of many political persuasions for the celebrations.

The bride and bridegroom leave the church amid a crowd of guests and people who had come from near and far
The bride and bridegroom leave the church amid a crowd of guests and people who had come from near and far

There were 1,600 guests.

The bridegroom was a member of the MacLeod clan, chief of which was Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod. He was her grandson.

Two special trains on a re-opened line ran to Lavenham and Dame Flora who was on the second was piped from the railway station by the family piper, Sandy Gordon, who also piped the bride and bridegroom as they left the church.

Guests arrived at Lavenham by special train on a specially re-opened line
Guests arrived at Lavenham by special train on a specially re-opened line

Red carpets and flowers greeted the 800 guests as they arrived at the station.

In brake vans on both trains the guests were served meals by special caterers.

Passengers on the first train were given white travel permits, and those on second, yellow ones. They were their souvenirs.

The first train in had the Royal driver George Hewitt at the controls, accompanied by the Royal guard Tom Mead.

The cake that Anne cut, helped by her MP husband
The cake that Anne cut, helped by her MP husband

In the second train was the deputy Royal driver George Yallop.

The church was packed to capacity and it was standing room only for many guests.

Hundreds of sight-seers crowded outside.

The service was conducted by the Rev. J. Thornton-Duesbury, Master of St Peter's College, Oxford.

The rector, Canon H. W. S. Cotton, led the prayers and the organist was Dr. S. Watson, of Christchurch, Oxford.

During the signing of the Register, the St Edmundsbury Cathedral choir sang 'The Hymn to the Trinity'.