Esther Pushes the Boat Out

TYING THE KNOT: ‘Vintage bride’ Esther Harrod and her long-term partner Steve

Esther Harrod, an editorial secretary on the Daily Express from 1973 to 1985, is getting married again. Describing herself as a “vintage bride”, Esther has decided to tie the knot after 14 years with her partner Steve.  

They live in a riverside village 12 miles from Cambridge and will celebrate their marriage in June with more than 100 friends and family. 

Steve, 61, a parish councillor whom Esther describes as her toy boy, worked as a design engineer for a telecommunications company until his retirement.

Esther, 63, said: “We are lucky enough to have a very nice boat and as our village church is situated on the banks of the Great Ouse, Steve thought it would be a nice idea for me to come down on the Jasmine B with my three (also vintage) bridesmaids.  

"I just hope I don’t fall into the river at the same spot, which I nearly did about three years ago when I was a river novice.  I’ll have to make sure I don’t buy a dress with a train that I could catch my heel in and go over."

Esther, nee Gates, and two of her bridesmaids enjoyed a hen cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria in January although she is not sure if the passengers were ready for such an event. 

“It was truly a privilege to be able to spend quality time with friends who I have known since the late 60’s, when as young women, we shared a flat together next to the Bull and Bush in Hampstead,” she said. 

Also on the ship was Falklands veteran Simon Weston, who was one of the speakers on the first leg of the Queen Victoria’s World Cruise.  Esther said: “I was overwhelmed that Simon was on board as I had been the person to break his story when he arrived at the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital in  Woolwich. 

“My late husband had come back from the pub, telling me that someone had been visiting a relative in the hospital round the corner from us and there were 'blokes in there from the Sir Galahad, one of which was very very badly burnt, with fingers dripping like candle wax’.

“I went into the office the next morning and told the newsdesk. I remember photographer Harry Dempster going to the hospital and coming back saying that Simon was so badly burnt, he didn’t want to take any photos. But of course he did and the rest is history."

“I spoke to Simon after his talk and said I had broken the story to the press and that I had felt guilty because I had often wondered if it had been too early for him to be exposed in that way. But being the gentleman he is Simon said he couldn’t even remember at the time. Him and the lads were just pleased they had more visitors as they were getting bored sitting around in the hospital. The Express did send them in a few crates of beer as I recall.”

Esther’s first husband Barry died at the age of 52.

How Esther took the Michael

Esther’s life on the Express – Pictures


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