Tunnel of Love
For those of you of a certain age the title of this post will send a 1980 Dire Straits song wizzing round your head, recalling the joys of a now closed funfair at Whitley Bay near Newcastle.
The happy couple in Castle Basin
But this post has nothing to do with fun fairs.
Today I notched up a first, which is something of a rarity. Helen and I attended the wedding of Mark and Justina in the limestone caverns of the Dudley Canal Tunnel. To be technically accurate it was a pagan handfasting ceremony, and whilst the elements may be different to those we usually witness, the end result was still the marriage of two friends and fellow Roving Traders.
I dunno what happened here - my camera threw a surreal wobbly!
Fifty guests gathered in the car park of the Tunnel Trust and were duly ushered down to a trip boat which was preceded by the groom on a decorated tunnel tug. We were togged out in the obligatory hard hats and were treated to the updated audio visual presentation before reaching the singing cavern where we disembarked and formed a circle, organised by Wendy, the Pagan celebrant (I am not sure what her actual title is).
You don't see this in the CofE!!!!!
... and the altar was not quite the same... (but I rather liked the chocolate muffin ;-))
The ceremony from handfasting to broom jumping
Justina arrived aboard the tug and so the most unusual of ceremonies unfolded.
The whole event was very chilled and laid back, with lots of humour, personality and spontaneity offered by all parties, all held the dark shadowy space beneath Dudley Castle.
Whilst the darkness made photography challenging, the subject matter offered a target rich environment.
And so Mark and Justina completed the handfasting ceremony and jumped the broom, stepping into a new era of married life together.
Thank you for inviting us and accept our best wishes for your future.