Published: 18:48, 28 April 2009
As costume dramas go, this one bore all the hallmarks of a gripping swashbuckler.
Robin Hood and Maid Marian’s families were destined to remain outlaws rather than in-laws after the themed wedding was thwarted not by the evil Sheriff of Nottingham but by fire.
The happy couple, whose entire congregation were dressed in medieval garb, were stopped in their tracks as they tried to reach their Luddesdown wedding venue.
The straight-forward route to the Dode Church ceremony was cut off after arsonists set fire to two tonnes of compost at Luddesdown Organic Farm just before midnight last Friday.
The Luddesdown Road closure was still in place the following day when Maureen Fassail-Abbady and partner Sharon Lodge were due to tie the knot.
But it wasn’t Little John who came to the couple’s rescue, but kind-hearted pub goers and residents who guided them through alternative country lanes.
Maureen, 47, aka Maid Marian, made a grand entrance on horseback where 43-year-old Sharon, alias Robin Hood, was waiting.
The pair, from Sittingbourne, knew nothing of the fire until a call from reception venue The Golden Lion Pub.
Maureen said: “We had guests coming from all over the UK and we couldn’t even ring them to tell them because of the poor mobile signal.
“I just kept thinking 'I am getting married at 2pm and I have no idea where I am going’.”
Landlady Charlotte Thompson said: “We had customers offering to drive guests to the church. It has been a nightmare. I can’t have my windows open because of the smoke.”