Dash through volcanic ash - for love

LOVE was in the air, not volcanic ash, when an Awliscombe man got the only international flight into Bristol Airport last Thursday – in the nick of time to renew wedding vows with his wife of 20 years.

LOVE was in the air, not volcanic ash, when an Awliscombe man got the only international flight into Bristol Airport last Thursday - in the nick of time to renew wedding vows with his wife of 20 years.

Tony Copley, 45, thought he would miss the big day after a volcano eruption in Iceland shut down airports across the country.

The business development manager faced the prospect of being stranded in New York following a conference, but ended up arriving back in the UK just five hours late. His wife, Lisa, 48, had no idea last Friday's church service was in jeopardy - until she received a telephone call.

"My mum phoned me and asked if I had heard what had happened," said Lisa. "I hadn't and couldn't believe it. I thought the service would have to be cancelled."


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Tony said: "I was very lucky, because other delegates can't get flights back until next week."

The couple, who have four children, renewed their wedding vows at the parish church in Awliscombe, cheered on by their friends and family. Team vicar the Reverend Allan Sheath conducted the service.

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Friends and family joined the couple for a meal at Combe House Hotel, Gittisham, after the service and an evening reception was held at Montgomery's, Honiton.

It wasn't the first time a volcano kept the couple apart. In 1995, when Tony was serving aboard HMS Southampton in the Royal Navy, his leave was cancelled when an eruption occurred on the island of Montserrat in the West Indies.

"We had to evacuate people and build a camp on the north side of the island," he said.

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