Bells bring back memories

A BEER couple were reminded of their wedding day by a tale of church bells in last week’s Herald

When Dawn Tims, of The Meadows, read that the bells of St Michael’s Church, Beer, were to be rung on August 23 in honour of wartime bride, the late Violet Higgins, she got in touch.

She and husband Colin were married at the church on September 28, 1963 - the first couple to wed to the sound of the newly-installed bells. An engineer had condemned the old church spire as too dangerous a couple of years before, hence why the new bells were needed.

Dawn, 65, said: “They’d only been dedicated the week before and we didn’t know if they’d be ready.

“It was a lovely day but a bit of a rush as we had to be out for another wedding to take place that afternoon. If the ceremonies had been the other way around, we wouldn’t have been the first with the bells.”

Their reception was at Beer’s former Beach House Hotel and they honeymooned in St Ives.

Former SWEB electrician Colin, 68, was born and raised in Beer. Dawn, nee Luff, moved to the village from Manchester in 1959. They met in 1961 when she worked in a tea hut on the beach and they have three children and seven grandchildren.

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For their 25th wedding anniversary they took a trip on Concorde. They have always been interested in aircraft, so when they saw ‘flights of fantasy’ advertised in a newspaper, decided to treat themselves.

Colin said: “The tickets were �340 each, which was a lot of money then. Due to a postal strike we only just got them in time.”

And of 47 years’ happy marriage, Colin said: “People said it wouldn’t last five minutes, perhaps the bells were lucky,” said Colin.