Great Yarmouth borough councillor ties the knot- literally

A GREAT Yarmouth borough councillor tied the knot in authentic fashion when he married his long-time partner.

Alan Grey and partner Kay Jones, both well-known local musicians, opted for a medieval handfasting ceremony and celebration in the grounds of a friend’s house at Belton. Guests dressed in medieval costume and the feasting and merriment went on into the small hours.

Medieval re-enactment actors officiated as priests and knights. The knights provided a guard of honour and gave demonstrations of traditional combat skills including sling shots and archery.

Belton Bowmen staged a display with longbows, and musical friends of the couple supplied period music while local mystics gave tarot readings and fortune telling to the 60 guests.

Earlier, Alan and Kay, who are proprietors of the Shake, Rattle and Roll music shop in Gorleston High Street, had arrived for the ceremony in Belton by horse-drawn carriage, having completed a civil marriage ceremony at Gorleston Register Office.

Alan, Conservative councillor for Bradwell North, is a familiar face at holiday camps and clubs throughout the area where he and Kay have taken the stage as Glory Daze for the past 10 years. Kay is the lead singer and Alan provides the humour, guitar and backing vocals.

Handfasting – the joining of hands bound lightly by knotted cords – dates back hundreds of years and is the origin of the handshake to seal a bargain and to “tie the knot”. It’s a romantic, eloquent ceremony normally held outdoors in a rural setting.

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“Sometimes the couple jump over a broom at the end of the ceremony to signify jumping into their new lives,” said Alan, “but we decided against that because Kay was afraid she might trip on her long dress! My Robin Hood outfit was a bit on the tight side as well!”

“We both wanted something very different from a customary Christian church wedding, and it was a great success.

“Our guests got to dress up and said they had a wonderful time and we got a beautiful day in a beautiful setting.”