Fall fails to spoil couple’s big day

Cliff Sweeting and Gill Bainbridge.
Cliff Sweeting and Gill Bainbridge.

A BRIDE suffered a devastating blow just days before she tied the knot for a second time.

Gill Sweeting, 60, fell in the town centre flat where she and husband Cliff were staying in Hartlepool.

She knocked out her two front teeth and broke a rib at 11pm on Tuesday.

She faced a race against time to get emergency dental repairs before Saturday – the day when she and Cliff re-affirmed their wedding vows at the Blacksmith’s Arms, in Hartlepool.

Gill said: “I caught my foot on a tack and fell down the two stairs to the bathroom. I was on the floor and there was blood everywhere.”

Cliff added: “I went rushing into the bathroom and Gill was really woozy. I was typing on the computer to find a dentist with one hand and holding a pack of ice to Gill’s face with the other.”

Gill found a dentist and admitted: “They did an excellent job. I am relieved but a bit sore.

“There were family coming from all over the country for the ceremony, but I could not have gone ahead if I had not got this sorted.”

But the couple got the day of their dreams.

Cliff and Gill first hit the Mail headlines last December.

We told how the 1960s sweethearts had their romance ripped apart when family circumstances meant Cliff had to leave Hartlepool for Australia.

After an amazing chance reunion on the internet, the pair rekindled their relationship 40 years later.

They first married in January in Whyalla, Australia, where Gill lives.

On Saturday, they re-affirmed their vows in Hartlepool on Cliff’s 64th birthday.

Cliff’s brother David, 49, travelled from Northampton to be his best man while Gill was given away by her uncle Bill Wainwright.

The couple also had a flower girl and a ring bearer and Gill presented Cliff with a regimental tie bar while Cliff gave Gill an eternity ring.

They were also given an extra present to mark their big day – from the Mail.

We sourced the front pages of our paper on the days when both Cliff and Gill respectively left town.

Cliff left on December 17, 1969. Headlines that day included a steelworker winning £263,000 on the pools, and a Government row over votes on pay.

Gill left on March 31, 1974, and her front page included a row over adverts which was threatening the future for the Grand National.

Cliff described the present as a “fantastic reminder” of his youth in town.