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Back to the 40s for Thetford wedding

PUBLISHED: 13:22 13 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:40 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

They didn't quite go as far as having spam for their wedding breakfast!

But just about every other part of life from the 1940s was recreated as Darren Starkey and Louise Berwick tied the knot in Thetford on Saturday.

They didn't quite go as far as having spam for their wedding breakfast!

But just about every other part of life from the 1940s was recreated as Darren Starkey and Louise Berwick tied the knot in Thetford on Saturday.

The bride and groom chose the Bell Hotel - where the cast stayed during filming for Dad's Army - for their reception and all the windows had masking tape as would have happened in wartime.

The best man's speech was interrupted by an air raid warning and the guests - who all went to great lengths to wear outfits from the decade - were welcomed with authentic Singapore Slings cocktails.

Mr Starkey, a 38-year-old panel beater with Thetford firm Gladwins, and his new wife were given a guard of honour as they entered the hotel by the Thetford platoon of the Home Guard, who had broom handles with knifes and forks tied on the ends.

The couple had got married a few miles away at the beautiful Lavenham church in Suffolk and while they arrived in a vintage car, the guests were transported in an old Routemaster red double decker bus which had the words “Congratulations Darren and Louise” in the box at the front where the destination is normally shown.

Mr Starkey has a large number of American relatives and with their parents having lived in the 1940s, they decided to go for the theme for their wedding.

“It has been fantastic and everyone at the hotel has been brilliant,” he said.

Mrs Starkey, 37, a security guard at Tesco in Thetford, said: “Everything has been superb and we just wanted it to be a bit different.”

Bell Hotel general manager Stuart Evans added: “It has been really great fun and everyone had a fantastic day.”

The guard of honour was provided by volunteers from the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford, and the museum is working the hotel to increase the profile of the town's links with the ever-popular BBC TV series.

Next June there will be a community production in Thetford and also the unveiling of a statue of Capt Mainwaring and members of the Dad's Army Appreciation Society will stay at the Bell.

Museum curator Corinne Fulford said: “We hope the whole town will go back to the 1940s for the week.”

Anyone wanting more information on the museum can ring her on 07802 701911.


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