Love on a branch line for classroom duo

Two teachers from Swaffham are on track for a long and happy future after sealing their wedding vows with a trip on a diesel engine. Paul and Judith Madsen tied the knot in Dereham's registry office before hopping on the fast train to a happy marriage on the town's Mid Norfolk Railway.

Two teachers from Swaffham are on track for a long and happy future after sealing their wedding vows with a trip on a diesel engine.

Paul and Judith Madsen tied the knot in Dereham's registry office before hopping on the fast train to a happy marriage on the town's Mid Norfolk Railway.

They had the wedding breakfast in the station before travelling to Wymondham, where they had champagne and cut their cake.

It is the first time a wedding reception has been held on the line - which closed as a standard passenger service some 39 years ago under the Beeching cuts.


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The idea to have their wedding reception on the train was thanks to Mr Madsen's father who mentioned it when the couple were sat with him having a cup of tea in Morrison's café, across the road from the station.

“It just captured our imagination,” said newlywed Mrs Madsen. “We have always said we can hear them in the garden at home and said one of these days we must go on the trains.

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“We found they do not run on Tuesday afternoons but they said we could charter a train for the day. And nothing has been too much trouble for them. It has been wonderful.”

It was also a trip down memory lane for some of the former Miss Neale's friends and family who used to travel by train from Swaffham to Dereham to go to school.

Mr Madsen is deputy head teacher at Swaffham Junior School and the new Mrs Madsen is a teaching assistant at the school, where they met.

They have been together for just over five years and live in Old Hall Road. It was on Valentines Day this year that Mr Madsen proposed.

“He had asked to marry me not long after we met but I said ask me again in five years, and he did,” said Mrs Madsen.

Mr Madsen said: “It has been a lovely day.”

They are going on honeymoon to Luxemburg via Eurostar and Brussels, a slightly faster form of travel than the MNR.

MNR chairman Roland Terry said the railway was always happy to accommodate events and that people enjoyed using the lines for anything from birthdays to anniversaries or days out often for memories of when they used it before 1969 or just for fun.

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