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Singer Keedie Babb's dream came true when she said 'I do' to the love of her life James Green, at the small church of Saint George And Saint Mary in the beautiful village of Cockington on Saturday 10th October 2009. The two were married after what can only be described as a whirlwind romance: as they became engaged just three months after first meeting. Keedie said that James proposed to her in September of 2009, not long after they first met and just before they flew out to Singapore for the Grand Prix where she was performing for Ferrari. Keedie also said "It was like a pre-honeymoon for us both. James proposed to me at Cockington. We went for a long walk and he was acting dodgy, then he asked me to marry him. He had even asked my dad's permission. I have never felt this way about anybody before. He is a perfect gentleman."
And in true fairy tale fashion the sun shone down approvingly over Cockington Court on the day of the actual wedding as the 26 year old songstress tied the knot with plasterer James Green, 28, in front of hundreds of guests. Her husband to be, who is the son of league secretary Paul Green, arrived at the church in dapper style in a dazzling red Ferrari - a vehicle perfectly apt for a man who proposed to the classical singer whilst out on a walk in the village of Cockington. Some 120 guests, each of them dressed to the nines, filed into the court ahead of the 1pm ceremony where, in time honoured tradition, Keedie turned up fashionably late at 1.30pm - in the opulent comfort of a 1937 grey 'Rolls Royce' - just shortly after her four bridesmaids, who had previously arrived at the church in comparable style in a 'Rolls Royce' Silver Shadow.
Looking stunning in a one shoulder ivory gown, onlookers gasped as Keedie emerged from the car with her father Gary proudly by her side: and her fairy tale wedding finally came true when she gracefully walked down the aisle in front of family, friends and celebrity guests to tie the knot in front of 120 people, many of whom were drawn from the world of entertainment. Her husband to be said that the wedding would be a traditional affair and that from the Friday before, until Keedie walked down the aisle, he hadn't actually seen her, so he wasn't even aware of what her wedding dress looked like. But there was one thing of which he was definitely certain - and that was that Keedie would look absolutely beautiful. Keedie stated that she wasn't really sure about last minute nerves, as they had been actually kicking in for about a week.
KEEDIE AND JAMES AT COCKINGTON CHURCH
Keedie's mum, Maria, said she had been keeping her fingers crossed that the weather would stay fine for the weekend and she would be sorry when it was all over because it was so much fun seeing to the preparations which included everything from helping Keedie choose the wedding dress to the selection of the flowers. She said that Keedie had been wonderful throughout and had never once told her to stop interfering. Dad, Gary, confessed that he had been worrying quite a lot about his speech, like fathers of the bride often do, and thought that he had almost lost the plot with it now. He also said that there would be plenty of laughter from all concerned, and that there would surely be some waterworks.
There was barely a dry eye in church and scores more people looked on as Keedie and James smiled for the cameras after the ceremony. Her mum Maria, who sadly passed away in February 2014, could barely contain her emotion as she told the the local newspaper, The Herald Express: "It's been so amazing. Keedie looked stunning. I can't stop crying. We knew it would be emotional. She looks so beautiful in her dress. She always said: 'I want something different' and it's just perfect for her. In fact, today has just been perfect in every way." Keedie's bridesmaids, in attendance at the ceremony, were her three sisters: Faye, 30, Nadine, 25, and Natasha, 18, who were joined by her long time 'best friend' Kelly Henshaw, 26.
Later on in the day a further eighty guests joined the happy couple for a reception at the Livermead House Hotel where eighties pop sensation Brother Beyond frontman Nathan Moore, along with Eurovision singer James Fox and X-Factor singer Austin Drage performed and, at one point, were even joined on stage by the bride herself. Other distinguished guests at the prestigious event also included former Phones4U boss, James Caudwell, who was chauffeured into the event by local taxi company Babbacombe Cabs. When asked about the identities of personalities attending the event Keedie kept fairly tight lipped about the whole affair: but she did admit that quite a few well known celebrities would also be attending.
SEAN SLATTERY AND THE CONNECTIONS
THE SEAN SLATTERY VIDEO INCLUDED ABOVE HAS BEEN RE EDITED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS OF KEEDIE AND JAMES BY
STAGE FRIGHT MEDIA
WITH THE KIND PERMISSION OF SEAN SLATTERY AND THE CONNECTIONS
Keedie and James were united in holy matrimony in the church of Saint George and Saint Mary - a place of worship nestled deep within the medieval village of Cockington - one of the many villages noted in the Domesday Book. The picturesque village is one of the most photographed locations in the country, and the surrounding country park and woodland serve to make it an ideal destination for walking, relaxing and, of course, getting married - with it's delicately coloured cottages and meticulously tended thatched roofs, complimented by it's horse drawn carriages, giving it that 'chocolate box' appeal.
No holiday to The English Riviera would be complete without a visit to Cockington. This idyllic village is hidden in a deep valley just one mile from the bustle of Torquay. It is easily accessible from the seafront by bus or car, or alternatively by horse-drawn carriage in keeping with the history of the area. Visitors find themselves transported to a magical land, so peaceful you can almost hear a pin drop. Narrow winding lanes open out onto beautiful chocolate box cottages, old English gardens and thatched roofed gift shops - a number of which provide locally produced crafts and 'Devonshire' Cream Teas.
THE DRUM INN
There are 450 acres of parkland, woodland and lakes to explore. The lakes themselves are thought to have been created by monks living at nearby Torre Abbey, to supply them with fresh fish and were restored by local landowner, Richard Mallock before he died in 1900. On the edge of the woods is the famous Gamekeeper's Cottage dating back to the 16th century. The Gamekeeper was entrusted with raising pheasants, hares, duck and rabbits and also keeping the area free of poachers. Today, however, the cottage is the meeting place for many guided woodland walks - an activity enjoyed by all. In her youth, Agatha Christie regularly visited Cockington. Her novel Why Didn't They Ask Evans? is dedicated to Christopher Mallock. The Mallock family were friends of Christie's from the years before her first marriage. The Mallocks staged amateur theatricals at Cockington Court, where Christie, managing to overcome her usual shyness, also took part.
The village was probably founded 2,500 years ago during the Iron Age with evidence of two hill forts on either side of Cockington valley. Little is known about Cockington from that point up until the remains of a small Saxon village were found near The Drum Inn. The first official documentation of the village was in the 10th century. The manor was owned by Alric the Saxon, before being owned by William Hostiarus, William de Falesia and Robert FitzMartin, who passed it down to his son Roger, who renounced his name to become Roger de Cockington. The Cockington family owned Cockington Estate from 1048 to 1348. The Cary family owned the court from 1375 to 1654. It was then sold on to the Mallock family, a family of rich silversmiths from Exeter, who owned it from 1654 to 1932 until they later sold the estate to the Torquay Corporation.
The Court was the mansion house of the Mallock family, and remains the focal point of the estate. Originally built in the 16th century, it has very few architectural features remaining from the period, as it has been altered and extended several times, particularly in 1673 by Rawlyn Mallock and around 1820 by the Reverend Roger Mallock. In the centre of Cockington, and nestled amongst the pretty thatched cottages, stands The Forge. This is one of the most photographed buildings in the whole of the country, and dates from the 14th century. The oldest postcard featuring the village was of the forge which was taken during the 1890's. This was quite unusual for that historical period as it was photographed during the winter season. Unfortunately, no longer a working forge, it is now home to the acclaimed miniature horseshoe.
HORSE AND CARRIAGE
The village also has its own inn known as The Drum, which is situated across the road from the car park. It has superb views, friendly staff, log fires in winter and great food. There is plenty of outside seating and a varied menu to suit all tastes. The Drum Inn also welcomes families and children can play safely in the gardens. The Drum Inn is a country pub oozing rural charm and rustic character. The picturesque surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for savouring the hearty, seasonal pub food on the menu, and the carefully nurtured cask ales and fine wines gracing the bar. Dating back to 1936 The Drum Inn's claim to fame is it's world famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens who designed the inn as the focal point of the village and today his vision still retains all the traditional charm thanks to a recent million pound restoration project that replaced the old thatched roof and restored the beautiful gardens making the most of the astounding views.
The wooden footpath through the Drum Inn's gardens opens onto the village cricket ground which provides the venue for many open air events throughout the year. One of these events is the annual 'Last Night Of The Proms' which attracts thousands of people and raises funds for many local charities. One can also spend a lazy summer afternoon watching the local cricket teams battle it out with each other! At the end of the cricket field is the stately manor house, known to one and all as Cockington Court. The building was originally owned by the De Cockington family between 1130 and 1350. There are weddings held today in the stately rooms and the second floor houses many traditional craft studios. These are open seven days a week, free of charge, and feature handcrafted glassware, wheel thrown pottery and handmade jewellery to name but a few. Adjacent to Cockington Court is the old Norman church - today dedicated to Saint George and Saint Mary.