Speech 10

Good evening ladies and gentlemen, now before I begin I would like to introduce myself to those of you I haven’t yet had the chance to meet. My name is Martyn and it is my very great pleasure and privilege to be Guy’s best man for today’s celebrations. …


Over the next few minutes I will be taking you through Guy’s journey from schoolboy to fireman to the rum drinking electrician that we see before us today. Now that makes him sound like he’s an electrician with a drink problem, but think of him more as a drinker with a work problem and you sort of have it.


Now I first met Guy when we just 6 years old and attending the same Prep school. It was an era of hard discipline, cold showers and stern teachers, at a time when the international human rights bill had yet to be thought of. It would be safe to say Guy’s bottom was no stranger to the cane and as a boarder he’d sometimes find himself punished by not being allowed home for the weekend. However, his ultimate punishment, and very nearly early demise, almost came courtesy of an RPG. A fellow member of the cadets had found this live grenade and kindly tied it to Guy’s rucksack which, to cut a long story short, eventually ended its life, not attached to Guy, with a controlled explosion by the Army Ordnance Corps. It was to be the only time Guy used the ‘my homework blew up’ excuse with any real conviction.


However, these formative years were to prove the perfect training ground for Guy’s future career in the Fire Service, where the mental and physical toughness he learned and developed at school would see him pass out as the leading recruit on his course. He has, as yet, never needed to recite Latin whilst saving somebody’s life and if my memory serves me correctly, thank God for that.


Now, it’s safe to say that school was never really his thing, but although not academically interested, he has always been blessed with a great gift for all things technical and practical. Unfortunately this is precisely the geeky type of brain that can rebuild a computer but forgets to swap around the photos of girlfriends on the mantelpiece depending on who’s coming to visit that day. But Guy is nothing if not resourceful and eventually managed these tricky situations by simple means of a diary which not only kept a record of movements, but also conversations, so there could never be any mix up.


It may be worth noting here that this apparent popularity with the fairer sex was completely in spite of the fact that our hero drove Fiat 126, which he had decorated himself by adorning the rearview mirror with a suspender belt. Don’t forget this was the mid eighties and there was no such thing taste and subtlety in Britain at that point. But speaking of subtlety, or lack thereof, it was to our favourite haunt of long forgotten club Hardwick Hall that we owe many thanks as a real place of learning. We were young, foolish and Guy was a very good dancer, together it was a potent combination, which for some reason only seemed to have an effect on older, slightly more desperate women.


It was obvious from the very early days that Guy would not be the suit wearing type of man and whatever he did it would need to be physically challenging. He was always a great sportsman, in particular a very decent squash and rugby player, so it has come as no surprise that he has excelled at one of the most distinguished, exulted and downright dangerous jobs you can get. Yes, life as the Middleton Lodge resident electrician comes at a price: it’s frequently dangerous, often antisocial and sports a modest salary that isn’t for everyone, but just like his part time fireman career, they prove a real hit with the ladies.


And so it was as Guy was undertaking some private electrical work with the full blessing of the taxman, that he met his future wife, the beautiful Heather. Heather can I just say that you look amazing today, really beautiful. I think we can all agree that my old friend is a lucky man but as they say in life you make your own luck. Legend has it that he went to your house that fateful evening to extend the ring and came away with his fuses well and truly blown.


Heather I can tell just how happy you make Guy, and I am thrilled for my old friend to have found somebody who means so much to him. I am really looking forward to seeing much more of you both in the future and sharing many happy times together.


Guy, you’ve been such a great friend over such a long time, it’s pretty hard to know where to begin. Unbelievably it’s 42 years since we first met and having been all the way through school together, sharing houses and lots and lots of great times together, I can honestly say I couldn’t have wished for a better bloke to experience all that with.


Not only are you a straight down the line man, hard working, loyal and fun but more importantly you’re a dedicated and brilliant dad to Charlotte and Jake. I know that in you I have a friend I can truly trust and depend on, and somebody who’s been there for me no matter what. I also know that with your sense of fun and entertainment, that there’s never a dull moment to be had. So here’s to those good times in the past, and those to come – I hope for many more years of them.


All that remains for me to say is I hope that you have a great day today and enjoy a long and happy life together, and I wish you all the luck in the world.


Ladies and gentlemen, the bride and groom!

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