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Remembering a car park proposal - 30 years on

PUBLISHED: 10:41 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:54 27 March 2019

Jane and Eddie Clarke from Rendlesham are celebrating their 
30th wedding anniversary  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Jane and Eddie Clarke from Rendlesham are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A Rendlesham woman has been reminiscing about the day her then boyfriend surprised her with a very big question.

Jane and Eddie Clarke's surprise wedding made the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times back in 1989 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJane and Eddie Clarke's surprise wedding made the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times back in 1989 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Not many proposals are so brave they make the local paper but one couple hit the headlines when they tied the knot at Ipswich registry office in 1989.

Reported at the time in the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times, Eddie Clarke lured his girlfriend of 17 years Jane Cook to the registry office under the false pretence she was going to a ‘business meeting’.

Eddie, who was then living in Felixstowe, claimed they were going to the registry office to park but he then popped the question as they pulled into the car park.

It wasn’t long until the couple sealed the deal as they walked around the corner to be greeted by family and friends that were in on the secret and there to watch them get married.

Even Eddie was surprised to see reporters at his wedding, as he hadn’t realised that his sister Sue had arranged for the papers to be there - but the couple said it made their day extra special.

Thirty years on Mr and Mrs Clarke will be celebrating their pearl wedding anniversary alongside their two daughters Laura and Emma and their grandchildren Ethan and Summer. They will be joined at a party by 100 of their closest family and friends.

Mrs Clarke, who back in 1989 described the proposal as a “lovely surprise”, said: “I’m proud to be Eddie’s wife still after 30 years, we’ve had an amazing marriage and I look forward to many more fantastic years together.

“I wasn’t even aware we were going to be having a party so yet again that was another surprise but I’m delighted and really looking forward to the special evening and seeing many people we haven’t seen in a long time.”

Eddie and Jane met in 1972 at a Bay City Rollers Concert in Felixstowe. When they met they didn’t realise that they were born a few roads apart in Kesgrave.

Jane and Eddie Clarke got married at Ipswich registry office and have happy memories of their wedding day  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJane and Eddie Clarke got married at Ipswich registry office and have happy memories of their wedding day Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

They were together for 17 years and had their two daughters before Eddie surprised Jane with his car park proposal. They now live in Rendlesham with their dog Tia and love spending time with their grandchildren.

Emma Clarke said her and her sister Laura say their mum and dad are a great couple because they have been through so much together and their love for each other has grown and grown.

“As children they always put us first, sending us into adult life with amazing childhood memories and tools to be just as amazing parents as they are,” said Emma. 


Jane and Eddie Clarke are celebrating their pearl wedding anniversary after 30 years of happy marriage Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJane and Eddie Clarke are celebrating their pearl wedding anniversary after 30 years of happy marriage Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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