Mirabelle Classic Cars

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2 Minors 4 a wedding

(apologies to Hugh Grant!)

Saturday 9 a.m. the phone rings "Hi Andrew, I'm here!" Mike and Carrie had made good time on the journey down from Lincoln having arrived at our meeting point. My mind drifted back in time to two years previously when I read an item in Minor Matters by Roger Martin on his experiences of setting up and running a Morris Minor Wedding Hire business; this had given me and several others the inspiration to do the same.

"O.K. Mike, I'll meet you as agreed at the Turf Lodge, Norton". The weather was all I could have hoped for, a warm spring day, the trees in full blossom and with leaves of a vivid green that's lost later in summer. I had surveyed the wedding route the week before which gave me the confidence to look forward to the big day, if only the weather would be fine and it was, big time! I had dreamt about a day like this ever since I had bought Mirabelle our convertible, the sun shining, the wind in my hair or what was left of it! and there was my first problem, the sun was too hot! How would my balding pate cope with the hood down? Although I try to be professional by wearing a suit, I don't wear a chauffeur's hat. Minutes later, having poured a large quantity of factor 15 onto the top of my head and kneading into the remnants of my hair like Brylcreem, I set off. Upon my arrival, Mike was holding a black bag full of bows and ribbons, which Michelle, his wife, had prepared in true Blue Peter tradition earlier. Ladies are so much better at that sort of thing! I had enough trouble tying them on, as by now, with trembling hand and one eye on the time we needed to set off.

The journey through Pelsall and Bloxwich passed without incident save that we met 3 wedding cars travelling in the opposite direction - 2 Jaguars led by a Riley. Friendly waves exchanged Carrie and Mirabelle travelled on holding their heads high in such exulted company. We arrived at Louise's parents house in good time for some nice photographs. Bride and Father were to travel in Carrie behind myself and the bridesmaids in Mirabelle; they seemed a jolly trio, I think that it had something to do with several glasses of champagne that they had each consumed earlier that morning. Their only complaint was that their shoulders might be burnt in the strong sunlight, my thoughts turned again to that bottle of sun lotion in the boot no, I must remain professional! The three were keen on the thought of wind-in-their-hair motoring, I knew that if we exceeded 35 mph that they would receive more wind that their hair styles could cope with!

So, photographs taken, we set off towards Wolverhampton . Generally, people were tooting and flashing their lights and waving at us, whether it was the bridesmaids, or the convertibles, who will know, but everybody seemed very happy as we passed. Most of the road users were courteous, but I do recall passing through Heath Town seeing in my driving mirror Mike, bride in the back, undertaking somebody who'd jumped in between us, on a bus lane so as to keep up with me 'round the Wolverhampton ring road. That man was not going to be shaken off! As we had to pull up at the traffic lights on the ringroad, one of our party in Mirabelle who shall remain nameless, thought that it might be a nice idea to do a Mexican wave out of the roof as we pulled away from the traffic lights. Consequently to much hooting and waving, three sets of arms, namely the bridesmaids, shot up through the roof aperture each time we pulled away causing much mirth and merriment in the car behind, hardly decorum but I blame the champagne.

We arrived in Wombourne without further incident, and I left Mike, the bride and her father hidden in a secluded place while I drove the bridesmaids round the one-way system to St Benedict's Church. This is a rather nice traditional building in keeping with a summers day, and opposite the cricket pitch which again reinforced the traditional English country village atmosphere of leather on willow. Fortunately I'd surveyed the route the week before because by some coincidence the Roman Catholic Church was at the end of St. Benedict's Road, yet the Anglican St. Benedict's Church was in the High Street; consequently I was much relieved at having done that survey. I dropped the bridesmaids off and travelled round to pick up Mike and delivered bride to the Church on time which was very pleasing as I was doing the navigating. Unfortunately, (it must be a bride's nightmare) Louise's father stood on the train as they were heading into church. Fortunately, only "minor" damage was done resulting in a small, hardly noticeable tear in the dress. The commencement of the service gave Mike and I time to relax, soaking up the sunshine and the admiring glances as the cars sat outside the church, watching some rather nice local, and expensive cars pass. It was the posh end of town after all!

Some time later the wedding party emerged for the photographs at the roadside, and at this point I was glad that Mike was driving the bride in his car, as Carrie ended up full of confetti, whereas Mirabelle escaped virtually unscathed. Bridesmaids piled in still suffering sunburn and the convoy moved off heading towards Alveley south of Bridgnorth. Anybody knowing the area will realise that there's no direct main road from Wombourne to Alveley and that one has to take a route through some pretty "minor" single track roads. So flushed with my confidence from the week before, we set off down the country lanes, an idyllic picture of two white minor convertibles, wedding principles being chauffeured, and several wedding guests trailing along in their cars behind us. Mirabelle trundled along, tooting at each blind bend, in the hope that we wouldn't be confronted by a herd of fresians coming the other way; a happier scene could not be imagined. In due course, we arrived at the Mill Hotel in Alveley, a rather fine establishment set in the countryside and just creating the right atmosphere for the final photographs.

We said our farewells to the bridal party and Mike and I drove to the top of the car park to unwind over cups of lemon squash, not champagne! We allowed the parties to disperse and then selected one or two suitable spots for some nice photos; after all, its not very often we get the cars together. As you can see we've got Mirabelle and Carrie, two middle-aged ladies parked in front of the fountain of eternal youth! After that, ties came off, baseball cap went on my head (not backwards, I hasten to add) to prevent further damage from the sun and we set off towards Wolverhampton. We managed to navigate the ring road without further incident, although at some point Mike managed to catch one of the bows as it flew over his head, a fine one-handed catch that any out-fielder would have been proud of. England selectors take note!

We arrived back at the Turf where we'd started our journey from, and relaxed in the bar with our soft drinks watching the end of the cup final. Judith, my wife, arrived and took further photographs of the proud owners in front of their cars and at this point it was time for us to bid our farewells. So with a friendly parp from Carrie's exhaust Mike set off into the setting sun, a happy day had by all. It just doesn't get any better than this!

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