From New York with love
In 2001, New York was in the news for the wrong reasons. Andrew Bywater recounts a happier tale of transatlantic love - with a Morris Minor theme.
"Hi, my nameís Lee, Iím calling from New York, Iíve seen your website for Morris Minor Wedding Cars...." Weddings were not at the forefront of my mind this close to Christmas, it was after all the 14th December. "....Iím originally from Bridgnorth and Julie and I are getting married on the 28th December, and I wish to book Mirabelle as surprise wedding transport." Conscious that this was a long-distance telephone call, we agreed to exchange further details via e-mail. One thought that struck me as I put down the telephone was that I shouldnít need my sun cream this time!
The Sunday before Christmas I deliberated whether or not to drive over to Bridgnorth to survey the wedding route; I was glad that I did, as "High Town", Bridgnorth has a "quaint" one-way system, and coupled with the fact that Lee had given me an incorrect address for the church, could have led to some embarrassment on the day.
Friday 28th December arrived crisp and bright marred slightly by a very keen wind, confirming in my own mind that Mirabelleís convertible hood was going to remain very firmly shut this day! The journey from Cannock via Wolverhampton to Bridgnorth was uneventful, my arrival gave me time to give Mirabelle a final polish and to put on the ribbons.
We arrived at Cartaway on time to collect Julie and her sister Di escorted by their father and after a few photographs we made the short (but very steep!) journey to St. Maryís church, Hightown. Arriving on the stroke of 12 noon the little party of 3 went straight into the church and joined Lee, his mother and the best man, it truly was to be an intimate affair!
Lee had previously explained that the wedding party had flown from New York on Christmas Day arriving in this country due to the time difference on Boxing Day, the following day they had journeyed down to Westminster Abbey to collect the special wedding licence travelling back in time for the wedding rehearsal.
Whilst waiting outside a number of passers-by made favourable comment about Mirabelle. I also explained that her name was French for "beauty to behold" although I was at a loss to explain why I should have given a very English car a French name! Other people were intrigued by the little party at the altar and thought it romantic to have travelled so far to marry.
Presently the wedding party emerged and I finally met Lee in person as all of the arrangements had been made at some 5,000 miles distance. Lee, Julie and I journeyed over the river Severn and through "Low Town" to the reception destination. It was here that we said our farewells.
As I drove home I reflected how small the world seemed with love and the love of Morris Minors!