Full steam ahead for wedding couple

SOME grooms might opt for a flash car, or maybe even a horse and carriage - but not many choose to roll up at church on a vintage steam engine.Yesterday, Mark Dreher did just that, after taking an hour to travel four miles through Ipswich to tie the knot in nearby Rushmere St Andrew.

SOME grooms might opt for a flash car, or maybe even a horse and carriage - but not many choose to roll up at church on a vintage steam engine.

Yesterday, Mark Dreher did just that, after taking an hour to travel four miles through Ipswich to tie the knot in nearby Rushmere St Andrew.

After wiping the soot from his face, and using Tipp-ex to cover a grease mark on his white shirt, the steam engine lover was ready to walk down aisle and wait for his bride, Joanne.

Speaking after the ceremony, at the village's St Andrews Church, Mr Dreher, 30, said: “This was ideal for me.


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“I love steam engines and industrial heritage - it's kind of my hobby. When I found out it would be possible to arrive at church on a steam roller, I really wanted to do it.

“I couldn't believe we would be able to find anyone who would be prepared to lend us an engine.”

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The idea for grand entrance came at a recent wedding where BT engineer Mr Dreher was best man.

At the reception, his then fiancée Joanne (nee Filby) was sat next to Kim Hart, who along with her husband Stuart, owned the steam engine.

Although a far cry from its original use for flattening the roads, Mr and Mrs Hart, of Henham, agreed that Mr Dreher could borrow the 105-year-old, 18-tonne engine for the day to get to church.

Travelling along Colchester Road and Rushmere Road, Mr Dreher did the steering while the owner kept the engine running. Towed on a trailer behind were his ushers and best man.

Mr Dreher said: “There were a lot of motorists driving past and waving and there were also people beside the road waving at us.

“It was brilliant. Apparently most grooms are quite nervous when they turn up at church but I just had a big smile on my face.

“I was covered in spits of grease but I managed to hide them using Tipp-ex on my collar.”

After arriving at church, Mrs Dreher, 31, did not take long to notice the effects of her husband's unusual journey.

She said: “He was slightly covered in soot. When he passed his hand to me during the ceremony, it was very black and the smell of soot was very strong.

“It was something a little bit different. Mark is very much into his engines and it's something close to his heart.

“When we were offered this chance, we couldn't really pass it up. I think all the guests loved it, although the whistle of the engine made the babies cry.”

After leaving church, the couple made their way to their reception at Hintlesham Hall, near Ipswich, through the more conventional means of a car.

Mrs Dreher, who lives with her husband and one-year-old son, William, in Kinross Road, Ipswich, said: “It's been a fantastic day. The weather was glorious considering what it's been like this week and we had a brilliant time.”

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