Gary Kilroy and Lynn Barrer are the first to tie the knot at the village’s museum

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, TSSA, Unison,
Gary Kilroy and Lynn Barrer, the first couple to be married at Tolpuddle

Gary Kilroy and Lynn Barrer, the first couple to be married at Tolpuddle

Two trade unionists will at this month’s Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival be the first people to be married at the village’s museum.

The South West TUC last year applied for a wedding licence for the museum, which tells the story of the six farmworkers, including George and James Loveless,  deported to Australia in 1834 after having formed a trade union.
The first to benefit will be UNISON member Lynn Barrer and her partner, TSSA member Gary Kilroy from Liverpool.
Lynn was enjoying a drink outside the village pub during last year’s festival when Gary Kilroy popped the question.
“It was totally out of the blue – I had no idea he was going to propose,” she said. “He didn’t get down on one knee, so I made him ask again. He had to do it properly!”
“It was a spur of the moment thing,” Gary explained. “We were both enjoying the festival and I thought it would be a good idea. We got in touch with the festival organisers, who couldn’t have been more helpful to us.”
The couple will tie the knot in the museum on July 17th, the day the festival opens. They have invited 50 guests, some of whom will be staying for the weekend, while others will be travelling home, having opted not to camp.
“We arrive on the Thursday and we’ll be around until the following Tuesday, when we go off to Spain for our honeymoon,” said Lynn. “Straight after the wedding we’ll pose for photos under the Martyrs’ Tree, and we’ll nip back to the marquee for a BBQ.
“We’re really looking forward to it. It’ll be great to meet up with everyone again. Tolpuddle’s such wonderful place, with so many like-minded people you can talk to, share ideas with. We absolutely love the festival.”
South West TUC Regional Secretary Nigel Costley said: “What better place for two trade union members to get married than where many people consider the birthplace of the trade union movement? We’re all excited about the wedding and hope Lynn and Gary have a wonderful time.”
Several thousand people are expected to attend this year’s free festival, during which Billy Bragg, The Beat and Seth Wakeman will be playing. There will also be discussions about farming, the future for trade unions, the EU, education and employment.
Details are available here

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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