THE Mayoress caught my eye as I walked beside Wimborne’s famous minster in the Saturday afternoon sunshine.
She is a gleaming Austin Six ‘York’ limousine, and she was all spruced up and bedecked with white ribbons while waiting for a lucky bride to emerge from the church with her new husband.
Standing proudly alongside her was her owner, Mike Bartlett, proprietor of Poole-based Austin-Beauford Wedding Cars.
The Mayoress, he explained, is one of his four-strong fleet of classic vehicles which are much in demand to help make a special day all the more memorable.
Finished in ivory over black and polished to perfection, she was built in 1935 and Mike is only her third owner in all those 76 years. The big Austin has travelled less than 60,000 miles in all those years, which helps explain her immaculate condition.
This long-wheelbase model, a feast of wood and leather, has a cavernous area in the back capable of accommodating even the largest of wedding dresses. Alternatively two further seats can be unfolded to enable six passengers to travel in comfort and style.
The firm also has a slightly smaller Austin 10 Cambridge of 1938 vintage. Finished in deep burgundy over black, it was used for more than 25 years by a district nurse, hence its affectionate nickname ‘Gladys’.
Then there is a glamorous Beauford Convertible, based on the famous Deusenberg of the 1930s. It is a four-door model with acres of interior space, finished in bronze over ivory, with cream leather interior and lambs’ wool rugs. It also has a full hood in case the weather turns a bit English!
The most modest member of the line-up is Millie, a fully refurbished 1966 Morris Minor Convertible. She’s white, with a white interior and hood, and has a clever double-folding front passenger seat to allow easy access into the back.
The company’s website is http://www.austinbeaufordweddingcars.co.uk and their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org