Old Dalby couple celebrate diamond wedding 60 years after church mix-up

David and Ceris Turbayne, of Old Dalby, who are celebrating their diamond wedding EMN-181219-165351001
David and Ceris Turbayne, of Old Dalby, who are celebrating their diamond wedding EMN-181219-165351001
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Imagine being a bride and arriving for your wedding only to be told by the vicar at the church door that you couldn’t get married because there had been a mix-up with the reading of the banns.

That actually happened at St Mary’s Church, in Melton, exactly 60 years ago today (Thursday) to David and Ceris Turbayne.

David and Ceris Turbayne on their wedding day in Melton in 1958 EMN-181220-122809001

David and Ceris Turbayne on their wedding day in Melton in 1958 EMN-181220-122809001

The drama didn’t end there because David’s brother, Tommy, then had to make a mad dash to Leicester to get a special licence from the bishop.

In the meantime, the bride and groom to-be, together with their 60 guests, headed off early for their reception meal at the nearby Anne of Cleves pub.

And all was well in the end because the happy couple got married after Tommy returned with the all important document and this week they celebrated their diamond wedding at their Old Dalby home.

They can look back on that eventful day now with a smile and a chuckle although it made newspaper headlines across the country at the time.

David and Ceris Turbayne, with family members, on their wedding day in Melton in 1958 EMN-181220-122819001

David and Ceris Turbayne, with family members, on their wedding day in Melton in 1958 EMN-181220-122819001

Ceris (78) recalled: “I remember arriving at the church door and the vicar saying to me ‘there is a bit of a problem’.

“I was a bit surprised but the overriding thing for me was that it would be OK as long as we could still get married on the day because I didn’t want to have to go home having not got married.

“As it happened we were able to go the Anne of Cleves and we got married at 2.30pm instead of at 12.”

Ceris was born at Asfordby Hill and her father worked at the old Stanton Ironworks after moving to the area from his native Wales.

David, who is now 83, was born at Burton Lazars and his father, George, was proprietor of Melton’s Snowflake Laundry, which is now run by brother Tommy, who saved the day at their wedding.

David lost both of his parents before he met Ceris and became legal guardian for his sister Elizabeth, who he later gave two transplants of bone marrow to before she passed away from Leukaemia 20 years ago.

The couple met at a farmer’s ball in January 1958 after being introduced by a friend, they got engaged two months later and were married in December.

“People today would be shocked that we got engaged so soon after meeting but we just knew it was right,” said Ceris.

David was a teacher, working in a number of schools before being getting a head’s post in Rugby, while his wife worked mainly as a hairdresser.

They have three children - Karen, Susi and Martyn - three grandchildren, Ben, Tom and Mathew, and a great-grandson, James.

Both have been churchwardens at St John the Baptist Church at Old Dalby and Ceris runs a drop-in club for elderly people in the village every Thursday.

They both share a love of golf, as do most members of the family, and they organise regular family tournaments in Cornwall, which are described by Ceris as highly competitive and a little ‘cut throat’.

So what is the secret of their long and happy marriage? David said: “We care for each other, we love and trust each other.

“We’ve had a family motto as the kids have grown up which is ‘we are a family and we do things together’.

“We have had a wonderful life and we’ve been very lucky.”