THE peal of wedding bells, the rhythmic sound of sticks and the waving of handkerchiefs celebrated the marriage of Diane Heyes and Richard Gregory, when colourful centuries old traditions were revived for their big day.

Diane from Bolton married her fiancé at St Bede’s Church, Morris Green, where the bride’s late parents, and aunt and uncle were wed over 60 years ago.

And the groom, a Cotswold Morris Dancer, was joined by 14 of his fellow dancers from Reading-based The Kennet Morris Men ­— including the Fool.

They formed part of the church service, by singing two traditional folk songs and formed a guard of honour for the happy couple.

Traditional Morris Dancing continued at the reception at Lostock Parish Centre.

Guests were entertained with Morris Dancing in both the Cotswold and Border traditions as The Kennet Men were joined by Boggarts Breakfast from Sheffield.

The couple, who live in Reading, arranged for a vintage London bus to transport the guests to the church and reception.

Diane said:”It was an amazing day and to have all these people who have travelled to be part of the day was so special.

“Richard started Morris Dancing only three years ago, when we went to a taster day and it is now a big part of our lives.

“However, I wouldn’t let him dress up for our wedding, but I could hear jingling and he said he had put on a bell ­— his one concession. He joined in the dancing.”

But the most special dance of all was a traditional wedding dance.

Diana said: “My mum and dad were married in the church, which has been a part of my life since I was a child. Although my mum is not here I felt as if she was with me in church.”