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The bride who had to run to church in her wedding dress

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WHEN Maureen Kerr-Dunn ran down the street in her wedding dress 60 years ago a woman passing by grabbed her wrist and said: ‘I’m sorry, love. Have you changed your mind?’

Maureen and Stewart Kerr-Dunn, who are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary

Little did she know that Mrs Kerr-Dunn was in fact running to her husband-to-be Stewart, who was standing at the altar, as she was worried she would miss her own wedding.

And now, more than six decades after meeting each other, the couple have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary. The pair began courting only after Mr Kerr-Dunn asked her father’s permission to take his daughter out.

‘I had only met him once through my dad,’ Mrs Kerr-Dunn said. ‘They were doing the drains on Clarendon Road. He asked him if he could take me out. My dad came to me and I said: “No.” ’

But Mr Kerr-Dunn, who later worked for the JMT bus company, would not take no for an answer, and after waiting outside the Odeon cinema for his future bride he decided to take matters into his own hands.

‘He came and banged on the door of my cousin’s house and said: “Where is she?” I was upstairs in the lounge.

‘My cousin made him some eggy bread and then she said to me: “You had better go down.”

‘When I did he said: “You better come out on Friday.” We went to the pictures.’

And just a few months after their first date the pair were engaged.

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However, their wedding day – which falls on Burns Night, as Mr Kerr-Dunn, is originally from Paisley in Scotland – almost did not happen.

‘Everything happens to me,’ Mrs Kerr-Dunn, who is originally from County Cork, said with a laugh. ‘There was a three-car crash at the top of the road. It was ten to three. In those days you had to be in the church before three. The driver said: “You’d better start running.”

‘My dad started wrapping my dress – which has a big train – around him and we started running. An old woman said: “I’m sorry, love. Have you changed your mind?”

‘She thought I was running from St Mark’s Church but I was running to St Mary’s and St Peter’s. I was out of breath trying to hold my dress. When I said I was trying to get to the church for 3 pm she said: “Can I come to the wedding?” I said: “OK.”

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‘At the end of the service she was in the church. She then got into one of the wedding cars and ended up in all the wedding photographs.

‘No one knew who she was and everyone was laughing.’

The pair, who have two children, Jeanette (58) and Stewart (54), celebrated yesterday with a party, which included bagpipes. And it’s clear that 60 years later the pair are still in love.

‘I’ve never regretted my marriage,’ Mrs Kerr-Dunn said. ‘He is a wonderful husband. He is so kind and gentle and is so funny.’

Krysta Eaves

By Krysta Eaves
author

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