Vulcan aircraft was perfect backdrop for Portsmouth couple’s wedding

Sarah Coles and Neil Benson under the wings of the Vulcan

Sarah Coles and Neil Benson under the wings of the Vulcan

‘I just remember a white cloud and a huge, horrific noise’

1
Have your say

HER passion for aviation was something newlywed Sarah Coles wanted to reflect on her wedding day.

The 43-year-old, from Portsmouth, travelled 200 miles to say her vows to partner Neil Benson beneath the wings of the Vulcan bomber.

I’ve always loved XH558 – I’ve seen her fly at numerous air shows across the country and every time she brings a real tear to my eye.

Sarah Coles

Sarah and Neil, 41, had their ceremony and reception earlier this month at the Vulcan Experience in hangar three of Doncaster’s Robin Hood airport.

The couple always wanted a unique venue and having the Avro Vulcan XH558 available as their backdrop seemed perfect.

Sarah said: ‘I’ve always loved XH558 – I’ve seen her fly at numerous airshows across the country and every time she brings a real tear to my eye.

‘When I read about her becoming available for weddings, it was too good an opportunity to miss.

‘The idea of saying our vows under her wings and bringing our loved ones together around her is just amazing.

‘We came up for a visit and that was it, we just fell in love with the venue.’

The couple’s nuptials also marked the first wedding in the midst of the latest addition to the venue – English Electric Canberra WK163, which previously held the world altitude record after reaching 70,310 ft in 1957.

Sarah added: ‘It’s so exciting to be able to say we got married not only in the presence of my beloved Vulcan, but alongside Canberra WK163, too.

‘As a lifelong lover of all things aviation, there really is no better place we could have said our vows and the journey has been more than worth it.’

After their wedding day, the happy couple had a shorter journey to make to enjoy their honeymoon as they enjoyed a break in the Peak District.

The Vulcan was operated from 1956 until 1984 and was part of the Royal Air Force’s so-called V-Bomber force, which comprised of the UK’s strategic nuclear strike force during the Cold War.

The planes were also capable of carrying conventional bombs and were used on sorties and bombing raids during the Falklands War in the 80s.

Avro Vulcan XH558 made a series of commemorative flypasts last year before its operational licence expired in October.

Back to the top of the page