Dunmow Flitch Trials: Christopher Atkinson and Meredith Atkinson-Wood

PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 July 2016

Dunmow Flitch Trials. Picture: Saffron Photo

Dunmow Flitch Trials. Picture: Saffron Photo

SaffronPhoto 2016

Dour judge David Monk, a BBC Radio Essex presenter, had fun with young couple Christopher Atkinson and Meredith Atkinson-Wood, two teachers at Felsted School who live in Stebbing.

Meredith is an American who came to Britain to study.

They have been married nearly two years.

Christopher said Meredith was his first girlfriend. The judge asked: “Have you had many since?”

They met as Cambridge students. Christopher said: “It was my friend’s 21st birthday and there was a bop at Queens’. We were both there and our paths met.” She said: “I told my friends immediately. Everyone thought I would go to Cambridge and meet a British guy but it surprised them when it happened.”

It was his final year and her first. He was offered a job in Exeter soon after they met so it began as a long-distance love affair. He changed careers to become a maths teacher so he could work in America in case Meredith wanted to return home. Then he encouraged her to become a teacher too so they could share the holidays. They married on Lundy Island. She said describing the romanticism of it: “It’s a rocky island with puffins, there are no phones, no internet.” The judge said to the audience: “Sounds ghastly, doesn’t it.”

Barrister Daniel Pitt, speaking for the bacon, said: “The first issue is the name. She’s Atkinson Wood and he’s Atkinson wouldn’t.” Then he added that since Christopher was a maths teacher he would test him: “If the border between America and Mexico had a 10ft-tall wall, how many bricks would it need?” The judge, pretending to wake up, remarked sternly: “He moved from Exeter to London and then changed his career, wouldn’t it have been easier to ditch her and get someone else?”

Speaking for the couple, “barrister” Steve Bugeja told the jury not to listen to the seasoned barristers who spoke for the pig: “Don’t be persuaded by older, embittered people. They dragged us out of Europe, don’t let them drag us out of believing in love. Give this couple the bacon.”

The jury agreed and did.

The pair looked so enraptured when they were carried through the town on the flitch chair that their smile muscles will probably take a week to recover.

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