An aviation-mad bride and her partner travelled more than 200 miles from the south coast to Doncaster after ‘falling in love’ with the idea of getting hitched beneath the wings of the Vulcan bomber.
Sarah Coles, aged 43, and her new husband Neil Benson, aged 41, travelled up from Portsmouth for their big day on Saturday, August 6, to exchange their vows in the shadow of the iconic Cold War-era aircraft.
Friends and family cheered them on as they held both their ceremony and reception at the Vulcan Experience in Hangar 3 at Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport.
The couple set their hearts on the unique wedding venue shortly after Neil proposed when Sarah read about the home of the Avro Vulcan XH558 aircraft becoming available for events and weddings.
Speaking before the wedding, Sarah said: “I’ve always loved XH558 – I’ve seen her fly at numerous air shows across the country and every time she brings a real tear to my eye.
“When I read about her becoming available for weddings, it was too good an opportunity to miss.
“The idea of saying our vows under her wings and bringing our loved ones together around her is just amazing.
“We came up for a visit and that was it, we just fell in love with the venue.”
The couple’s nuptials also marked the first wedding in the midst of the latest addition to the venue – English Electric Canberra WK163, which previously held the world altitude record after reaching 70, 310 ft in 1957.
Sarah added: “It’s so exciting to be able to say we got married not only in the presence of my beloved Vulcan, but alongside Canberra WK163, too.
“As a lifelong lover of all things aviation, there really is no better place we could have said our vows and the journey has been more than worth it.”
After their wedding day, the happy couple had a shorter journey to make to enjoy their honeymoon as they enjoyed a break in the Peak District.
The Vulcan was operated from 1956 until 1984 and was part of the Royal Air Force’s so-called V-Bomber force, which comprised of the UK’s strategic nuclear strike force during the Cold War.
The planes however were also capable of carrying conventional bombs and were used on sorties and bombing raids during the Falklands War in the 80s.
Avro Vulcan XH558 made a series of commemorative flypasts last year before its operational licence expired in October.
The Vulcan to the Sky Trust now leads tours of the iconic aircraft.