Hello everyone. I’d like to say a few words.
I know I’m reading from a script but that’s kind of appropriate since I first met Andy way back in 1983, in the back room of the Brookdale Theatre in Bramhall where we were both scene painters and set-builders. That was a time when there were great TV series like ‘The Sweeney’ and ‘The Professionals’. Do you remember them, Bodie and Doyle, the intrepid duo with their perms, pouts and double-entrendres? Though it’s very hard to believe, Andy was quite similar to Doyle in several ways. For a start, he had brown curly hair back then and more importantly, Andy drove a shiny black version of that great 70s icon, the Ford Capri, driving around with the same speed and style as Doyle because Andy was also into intrepid things, like riding a motorcycle with no brakes can you believe, when he was a junior Speedway rider at both Belle Vue and Ellesmere Port. In fact, going to Speedway races was one of the ways that I and one or two of you here today here got to know Andy.
Now, both Andrew and Deborah are long standing members of the community that is Marple and the surrounding hamlets. We can look forward to seeing them now becoming one of Marple’s institutions, perhaps becoming the village experts on good books, classic comedy shows and films. After all, Andy has an encyclopaedic knowledge of classic British comedy that would put many historians to shame. From On the Buses to Dad’s Army, he is the go-to source for all quaint gags and puckish anecdotes. Deborah on the other hand loves sci-fi films and light-hearted novels, so if you want to know about Blake’s Seven or the latest Jilly Cooper, you know who to ask. Deborah also apparently excels in solving logic puzzles and practical problems. Now this could come in very useful for life’s little problems. I mean, have you actually tried finding a table in a Marple pub on a Bank Holiday where you can sit down to a decent meal, for under a tenner, without being surrounded by drunken chavs, members of the Womens’ Institute, Crown Green bowlers or having football blaring out on huge TV screens? I know I have.
Now, I think you all know that both Andy and Deborah have had their fair share of challenges down the years and each of them has faced up to life’s ups and downs stoically, not expecting too much from others yet being there to offer support to their friends. Having not always found things easy in their respective lives, Deborah and Andrew have both developed a special empathy in relating to other people’s issues and together, they are not just ideally suited partners for each other but also doubly empowered to help others. Both have a deep and long-standing Christian faith and, with God’s grace and blessing, Team Andrew and Deborah are now an established reality and here to be of service. So would you all join me in raising your glasses to the wonderful couple and many years of happy marriage.
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