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  • Writer's pictureKeef Hellinger

Blog 72 Matfen, Northumberland, Chris & Allyson's Wedding Trip

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

By keef and annie hellinger, Aug 31 2014 10:22AM

Daily Fail / Male - 28/8/14 Motorhome trip No18 : August 27th - August 29th 2014 A KeefH Web Designs Travel Blog NOTTS->WHITLEY BAY->MATFEN ->NOTTS 404 miles Trip to our beautiful friends Chris and Allyson’s wedding at Matfen High House Farm & Brewery. An absolutely fab time, sadly as Annie had caught a bad sore throat and early cold we came back a day or two earlier so as not to pass it onto the bride & groom before their honeymoon to France. Weather mixed but considering how poor August has been it was good. Initially we stayed at the caravan club site at Old Hartley farm listed as being in Whitley bay but it is more Seaton Sluice. Fab views of St Mary’s island lighthouse from our pitch. Nice meal in the eve, bit of reading, prepping speech and up early the next morning to travel across to the wedding venue near Matfen which is I guess between Newcastle and Hexham. The whole day was fabulous, see the slideshow for a pictorial reminder. So happy for my bestest mate and Allyson. The wedding breakfast (wonder why they call it that?) food was fab and the hog roast in the evening excellent and the band , the shake down band where brill. They even played our requests of Summer of 69 and Sex on fire, what a nice bunch of lads *smile* I’ve included a copy of the spoof newspaper I did for them and a repeat of my best man speech. We got up about 10-ish on the Friday, had brekkie, sadly said our goodbyes and made the long journey back with the usual motorway hold ups to vex us. We had lunch with the brides mum and partner, Eve & Norman at the Weatherby service station. Quite a coincidence as we were all travelling back down south. If you would like to see the text of the best man speech click HERE

comedy newspaper article, daily fail/ male, for pals wedding, best man speech

71 photos in the SLIDESHOW

Best Man Speech

Intro self – Keef, for those of you who don’t know me and Happy for those that do. I’ve known Chris since v v young. My mum met dee at FPC back in the early 50s I believe (it clearly didn’t work, we are both here)

Definition of Best Man: - googled a few of these and picked out my favourite 3

1) Noun: an acquaintance with whom you trust a five minute speech that could, potentially, ruin the rest of your life. 5 mins - no chance, far too short! You can’t reveal much in 5 mins.

2) Antiquated expression used to delineate the "best swordsman" by your side as you kidnapped your "betrothed". Remember Vikings & Northumbrians stole their brides.

3) At one stage the best man would stand guard as a sentry to protect the bride and groom from anyone who wished to stop the wedding. He would sometimes continue this vigil outside the newlywed’s home after the ceremony- In today’s parlance that is a Stalker or Perv

Ice breaker: Want to play a quick game? 3 quick facts about Chris. 2 are true 1 isn’t. I’ll take a show of hands once I’ve been thru them

1. We almost missed a once a week bus across the top of Scotland when the warden at the Tongue youth hostel made us complete our chore having spent the night there. The chore may have been toothbrush on urinal porcelain, but I can’t remember. I do remember travelling on the post van with livestock, fruits, vegetables and newspapers however.

2. In our yoof we had very powerful (not) Honda 50 motorbikes tearing up the strip and terrorising the neighbourhood. We eventually progressed to more powerful bikes. Please feel free to visit Chris’ in their garage sometime. We had leather jackets with Harley Davidson written in studs across the back.

3.At many a party armed with Party 4’s and 7’s (basically a bigger baked bean can filled with Watney’s Red Barrel ale or better stuff – Abbot ale/ Bishops Tipple (maybe)) we would prance around energetically to the Motors Airport, nowadays it is called “dancing like your dad” but we thought we were the bee’s knees

Time for some facts-ish: Daily mail handout (35 copies – take one and pass them on please) after I’ve done the paperboy bit…..

At 12 I was a Paper boy, delivering in Clapham (or Clame as we prefer to call it now) to Rodenhurst rd , the posh bit HAND OUTS (lovely assistant) this is where Chris’s family lived

Chris & I were almost foetuses together, 60 years we have known each other, Chris is my longest & best friend, in class we sat next to each other before and after I went to oz as a child, travelled Scotland together when we finished 6th form as well as attempting an early commune in the lake district with a group of friends where we survived almost entirely on custard and oat cakes , we visited Taize (a religious community) vaguely near Cluny in France in our early hippy days. Speaking of Australia Chris & Allyson went in the “modern day” at the start of this year to see Laura & Steve, there they got engaged, what I suppose you could call a bit of a whirlwind romance (larf) they are both v happy and that makes us all here the same, they have now started travelling in their motorhome, my ambition is convince them to travel with Annie & I thru central outback oz or the forgotten world highway in nz by motorhome, perhaps one for the future maybe. We can then all be gray revellers sponsored by Saga, Must mention Chris other passions besides Allyson i.e music, blues, his various bands with Cordell and others, before the Sage it was early day concerts @ the Finsbury Park rainbow, we saw amongst others Pink Floyd, ELP and yes (Chris made a clock from side 2 of TFTOs - pure sacrilege), Chris was also into John martyn ,pete adkin, clive james, strawbs, jonathan kelly, FYC,tom petty, jimi Hendrix, roxy etc etc, and now he and Allyson are groupies or troublemakers for those in the know! Many a beer festival from the 1st great British to the latest, I have so many tribute glasses from these that I needed an extension on the kitchen , only sorry I couldn’t make the latest recent London one with you mate

Mustn’t forget family & friends – this really makes Chris tick and I get that too…..

ENOUGH – your real ale will get cold

One Final category

What about this day in history? 28th August I may add a few quiz questions

Birthdays - born on this day

1749 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, wrote the play Faust (d. 1832)

1828 – Leo Tolstoy, Russian Author

1906 - John Betjeman, poet laureate of England

1917 - Jack Kirby, cartoonist (X-Men, Spiderman, Hulk, Capt America)

1943 - David Soul, [Mr Solberg?] Chicago, actor (Starsky & Hutch)

1949 – Hugh Cornwall of the Stranglers

1965 - Shania Twain, Windsor Ontario, Canadian singer (You're Still the One)

1968 – Billy Boyd, Pippin from Lord of The Rings

1969 - Jack Black, American actor

1986 - Florence Welch Flo & The machine


1811 – Poet Percy Bysshe Shelly eloped with Harriet Westbrook to Scotland to get married

1924 - British children's writer Enid Blyton (27) marries editor Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (36)

1997 - British-Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie (50) weds Elizabeth West


1640 - King Charles I's English army loses to a Scottish Army at the Battle of Newburn

1850 - Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" premieres in Germany

1921 - Babe Ruth starts best streak ever of an “extra-base hits” whatever that means

1955 – Rock around the clock by Bill Hayley hit no 1

1963 - Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I have a dream speech" adressing civil rights march at Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

1964 - The Beatles appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine

1965 - Bob Dylan booed for playing electric guiter at a concert in New York's Forest Hills

1967 – For the cricket fans amongst us (Allyson) Asif Iqbal & Intikhab Alam make 190 stand for 9th wkt v Eng

1973 - "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple goes gold

A personal one for me

1982 - "Sugar Babies" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 1208 perfs

1986 - Tina Turner's star unveiled in Hollywood

1987 – Luka by Suzanne Vega no1

And one final one….

2014 Chris marries Allyson, He is my best mate and always will be, it is a real privilege and honour to be asked to be his best man, please join me in a cheer and toast to the happy couple, health and a long fun life together …. “Chris & Allyson, the new Mr & Mrs Langthorne”

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