Frankie's place for gays to marry

PUBLISHED: 05:08 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:49 24 May 2010

FRANKIE Howerd's former home could become a Mecca for gay couples wanting to tie the knot. The owners of the comedy legend's former home will apply for a licence to hold civil ceremonies in Cross next month. Wavering Down has held numerous functions inclu

FRANKIE Howerd's former home could become a Mecca for gay couples wanting to tie the knot.The owners of the comedy legend's former home will apply for a licence to hold civil ceremonies in Cross next month.Wavering Down has held numerous functions including the Gay Classic Car Club summer meet, primary school fund-raisers and charity open days.Friends of the former Up Pompeii star have bombarded the current owners Chris Byrne and Denis Heymer with requests to be married in the grounds.Chris, Frankie's former nurse, said: "It's a beautiful setting and most of my friends have asked me whether I would ever consider it."I wouldn't run it as a business and I think a lot of Frank's friends would be interested in using the location."I need to get the events for this year sorted out and then I will turn my attention to the licence next month."Frank was an entertainer loved around the world and I'm sure he would like people to enjoy themselves here."The move comes as Somerset County Council urges smaller venues to get a licence to ease a long waiting list for civil ceremonies.The number of ceremonies held in the county has more than doubled during the last seven years and is set to increase rapidly since civil partnerships for same-sex couples were introduced last year.Registration bosses at the council want more small venues to apply for a licence to plug a gap in the demand.Stately homes, manor houses and hotels are on the council's list of 70 private venues that can currently hold a wedding licence.Pubs, clubs, homes and village halls have been suggested as potential places to apply for a licence.Councillor Sam Crabb said: "Somerset has a choice of some of the most beautiful venues in the country and we hope that more smaller venues will sign up as holding ceremonies can prove to be very interesting, satisfying and rewarding.

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