DJ legend Peel's son ties the knot

BROADCASTING legend John Peel would have been extremely proud of his son William as he walked down the aisle on Saturday.

Richard Smith

BROADCASTING legend John Peel would have been extremely proud of his son William as he walked down the aisle on Saturday.

The 32-year-old and his bride Zahra d'Aronville took centre stage in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, when they married in St Andrew's Church.

It had taken the couple a long time to tie the knot - they had known each other since student days when William Ravenscroft was studying archaeology at Liverpool University.


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That was 12 years ago and on Saturdaythe couple said their vows in the village church; a building that has only stood there for about 140 years, but is on a site which has witnessed family celebrations for at least 1,000 years.

The wedding service was a joyous celebration. This was a time for family, friends and many relatives to gather and celebrate the couple's wedding before a reception at the family home in Great Finborough.

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There was, of course, one person missing. Peel had died aged 65 in October 2004 from a heart attack while on holiday with his wife, Sheila Ravenscroft, in Peru.

The service, conducted by priest in charge Lindsay Llewellyn-MacDuff, briefly turned the congregation's thoughts to those who were not present at the wedding.

William's father was not directly mentioned but the guests only had to walk round the church to find his grave.

And it was there that the newlyweds gathered quietly away from the crowds after the 40-minute wedding service to pay their respects to William's father.

His grave, covered with fresh flowers, has a gravestone inscribed with words from the lyrics of the Undertones song Teenage Kicks - Teenage Dreams So Hard to Beat - and Peel would have been delighted that the couple's wedding dream was at last being fulfilled.

Up to 140 guests had gathered in the church for the wedding which started nearly half an hour late.

Villager Mollie Welham, 84, arrived to congratulate the couple. Peel, the longest serving presenter on Radio 1, used to come to her parties and when she threw her 80th birthday party in Buxhall village hall he joined in the celebrations.

Jackie Presland, of St Andrew's Close, Great Finborough, had been chosen to make the floral displays. As a hobby she creates artistic arrangements for the church.

Her fifth wedding arrangement of the year included lilies and avalanche roses. Mrs Presland said: ''William has a very close knit family, they are easy going people to get on with and really nice.''

The 30-year-old bride, a zoologist, had been inspired by a previous display by Mrs Presland and wanted a natural and country type arrangement.

William's best man was his brother Thomas and also there to see him wed were his sisters Alexandra and Florence.

The couple left the church in a Chevrolet owned by Peel and which is now being sold.

The celebrations then started to move up a gear and Mrs Ravenscroft said: ''We have been waiting for this for a long time and it is a wonderfully happy day. It would have been lovely if John could have seen this.''

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