A couple are on the right track for a happy marriage after taking a break from tradition to enjoy a ride on a model railway.
Rebecca and Chris Spokes are big fans of Sunderland’s miniature railway in Roker Park so after tying the knot at the nearby Roker Hotel they and their guests boarded a vintage bus to the park so they could climb aboard the site’s five carriages.
It’s the first time the railway, which is run by City of Sunderland Model Engineering Society, has been used for a wedding and bride Rebecca, 22, said it was just the ticket for their big day.
The mum-of-two from South Shields said: “We come to the park all the time and we were at the railway one day when we thought it might be nice for the guests to have a ride. We contacted the chairman of the society (John Faulkner) and they were really helpful. “Not all of the guests knew so it was a surprise for them and it’s something a bit different to remember the day.”
Speaking about tying the knot with Chris, a mechanic for Stagecoach in South Shields, she said: “Everything’s been perfect, even better than I imagined.”
The model railway was set up in 1981 and features 888ft of track. It’s manned by 73 dedicated members who do everything from laying the steel tracks to driving the engines, which are a mixture of electric and steam-powered. The attraction has become a popular part of the current Festival of Light and each of the engines will cover a distance of 250 miles during the course of the four week event.
Secretary Peter Russell say’s it’s great to see so many people enjoying the fruits of the society’s labour. “We’ve had groups using the railway before, but never a bridal party and we were more than happy to be part of their big day,” he said. “We’re always more than happy to do this sort of thing and we never charge entry, we rely solely on donations.” Weather permitting, the railway is open for rides most Saturday and Sunday afternoons.