A FORMER Marine, renowned for his endurance achievements, has marked 30 years of happy marriage by renewing his marriage vows at Glastonbury.
Lee, famous for his world record-breaking ocean rows as a one-legged amputee, and Claire Spencer, of Horrabridge, enjoyed a ‘magical’ ceremony at the dedicated church tent on the vast concert site.
Claire, who booked the ceremony in January, said: ‘I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect event. It was all organised by my friends and it was so lovely because they saw a photograph of our original wedding and replicated the dresses from the ceremony. They looked fantastic and put so much effort into it.’
Claire, who had pink hair and a floral headdress for the occasion, chose Glastonbury for the event because the couple have been attending together since 2002: ‘Glastonbury turned out to be a wonderful choice. The weather was hot, but just right. The music, especially Cat Stevens and Elton John was the best ever. And we both have such happy memories over the years there, so it was the most obvious choice.’
Taunton United Reformed Church Minister Tim Richards conducted the ceremony. Claire said: ‘It was unusual, but very fitting for Glastonbury. He had coloured nails and wore shorts and had tattoos with a white dog collar. It was absolutely amazing and was so magical.'
Lee lost his leg after he went to help in a road accident and was then, in turn, was hit by traffic and nearly died. He wore a country and western style shirt, cowboy hat, shades and denim shorts for his special day. He could not walk with his prosthetic leg in his specially bought cowboy boots, so, left them behind.
The couple, who met at youth church in Dagenham 37 years ago, were joined by son Billy, who donned a cowboy hat and boots and denim shorts, and by daughter Harriet. All the female guests wore floral summer dresses and straw hats with flowers. Claire walked into the tent accompanied by Love Shack, by the B52s, which is the pair’s song. Their finishing song was Always and Forever, by Heatwave.
Lee, who served with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, among other places, said: ‘It’s been a marriage full of events and incidents like me serving in Afghan and Iraq, while Claire largely brought up two children by herself. A lot’s happened in 37 years and here we are — still standing.
‘I have to say its huge credit to our friends who put so much effort into replicating our wedding at Glastonbury. It is so appreciated.’
The adventurer is now training to swim the English Channel in the latest of his exploits which aim to show that anyone can achieve their dreams. His inspirational attitude has been harnessed by the Guinness World Records as he has been newly been recruited as an official mentor for youngsters.