Ring of fire! Fakenham bride’s royal ride to marry firefighter fiancé

The couple's special moment on their big day was arranged by Norfolk fire museum. Photo: James Knowl

The couple's special moment on their big day was arranged by Norfolk fire museum. Photo: James Knowles - Credit: Archant

A Fakenham couple celebrated their wedding day in royal style - with a 1960s fire engine from Sandringham providing the finishing touch.

The fire engine had a busy day, as it was on show at Weeting Steam Festival, as well as taking Julie

The fire engine had a busy day, as it was on show at Weeting Steam Festival, as well as taking Julie to her wedding, decked out in white ribbons. Photo: James Knowles - Credit: Archant

Bride Julie Wick, 29, a support worker at the Maltings Day Centre, arrived at church in the 1963 engine.

She married James Knowles. 30, a crew manager at Fakenham fire station at Fakenham Parish Church.

Mr Knowles, who has been in the fire service for 13 years, said: 'I am a retained firefighter which means I am on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is a big commitment.

'I couldn't do this without the support of my family as this is such a big part of our lives.'

The bride looked thrilled with her unconvential transport - and even matched her fire engine red flo

The bride looked thrilled with her unconvential transport - and even matched her fire engine red flowers to the appliance. Photo: James Knowles - Credit: Archant

Mr Knowles added: 'Julie's wish was to arrive in an old-style fire engine.'

He explained that their special moment was made possible by the Norfolk Fire Museum.

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The preservation branch of the Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service is based at the RAF Coltishall site.

Run by current and ex-firefighters, in addition to enthusiasts, the team restore old fire engines and equipment and archive memorabilia.

The appliance used on the Knowles' big day was a 1963 Commer engine. It served in the former royal fire brigade at Sandringham until 1967, when it joined Norfolk Fire Service.

In 1977, the appliance was retired, and ten years later it was lovingly restored by Kevin Kiddel, who drove Mrs Knowles to her wedding.

The engine is in full working order, and is fully kitted out, and even pumps water.

Mr Kiddel is an ex-firefighter at Hethersett, and driving instructor at the fire service training school at Bowthorpe.

The restored appliance can be seen on display at Bressingham Steam Museum, and on appearances at classic car shows.

Even on the Knowles' wedding day, the engine was on show at Weeting Steam Festival, leaving the event to take Miss Wick to the church, and returning to the festival decked out in wedding ribbons.

And despite half the crew having to leave mid-service to attend a Litcham field fire, Mr and Mrs Knowles, who live at Lee Warner Avenue, left the church under a guard of honour.

Led by station manager Gary Thorpe, firefighters from Fakenham presented axes as the happy couple left the ceremony.

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