A Doncaster wedding couple are flying high after taking off for a new life by getting married in the shadow of the world’s last remaining flying Vulcan bomber.
It was plane sailing for Neil Winter and Dee Welch as they became the very first couple to tie the knot alongside the iconic Cold War aircraft which is stationed at Robin Hood Airport.
And Neil, aged 51, quite literally took his new bride on the wings of love for an explosive start to their nuptials as they signed the register in the bomb bay of the famed plane.
Neil said: “We had an absolutely brilliant day – it went absolutely perfectly. It was amazing to get married alongside the Vulcan.”
The couple hit upon their high-flying wedding idea just a few months ago – and have moved fast to turn their dream into reality.
Neil said: “I have always been into aircraft since I was a little lad going to the Finningley air show with my dad.
“I have always liked the plane but we checked out a few other aircraft as wedding venues before the Vulcan – but, to be honest, we only came up with the idea in June.”
The couple, who have been together for two-and-a-half years and who live at Tennyson Avenue, Sprotbrough, approached the owners of a few other historic aircraft before plumping for the Vulcan.
“It was right on doorstep and we thought, ‘Why not’?” Neil added.
And after hearing the hangar at Robin Hood had applied to host weddings, it was all systems go – with 70 guests turning up for the wedding.
“We tried to keep it secret,” he said. “Some of our guests thought it was a wonderful place to get married, some were very surprised, while some thought we had lost the plot!”
The couple’s reception was more traditionally down to earth though – at Sprotbrough’s Newton Arms.
And it seems the pair’s love affair with aviation is not about to end any time soon.
Neil added: “I have got Dee into the aircraft now as well. She loves going along to the air shows. It was a really special day and we couldn’t have made it happen without all the people at the Vulcan To The Sky trust who made it happen.”
More weddings have been lined up in the shadow of the Vulcan over the coming months while the plane undergoes its winter overhaul.
A much-loved hero of the sky keeps on going
Vulcan XH558 is the world’s last remaining flying Vulcan bomber – and wows crowds wherever she goes.
The plane, affectionately dubbed the tin triangle for her distinctive delta wing shape, is the last one of 134 Avro Vulcan V bombers operated by the Royal Air Force from 1953 up to their retirement from service in 1985.
XH558 was used by the RAF as a display aircraft from 1986 to 1992 until budget cuts forced her retirement.
In 1993 she was sold into private hands, starting a long campaign to return her to the skies, and she took off for the first time again in 2007.
Since then, she has appeared at a string of air shows and private events across the country although next season is scheduled to be her last.
More details about the campaign to keep the Vulcan flying at Vulcan to the sky