Magna comes to rescue of couple whose wedding dreams go up in smoke

2 May 2012

Magna Science Adventure Centre has come to the rescue of a couple who were left heart-broken after their wedding reception venue was burned down just days before they were due to tie the knot.

Karl Smith and Natalie Hobbs, both aged 47, had been planning the reception for 140 guests this Friday (May 4) at Sheffield’s Ski Village, but it was destroyed by fire in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The couple, who finally decided to get married in August last year after more than 14 years together, continued with their plans for a small official ceremony at Gretna Green today (May 2), but were left without a venue for the main celebrations - until Magna came to the rescue.

Magna’s marketing manager Karen Staniforth said she heard of the appeal in the local media.

“My heart went out to Karl and Natalie. It just seemed an obvious thing for us to do. We have a great venue here for weddings that wasn’t booked for Friday, so we said come and have a look. They came to see us and loved the place so we offered it to them free of charge.”

The reception will take place in the Fuel Restaurant, at the former steelworks at Templeborough. Photographs of the couple will be projected on to the huge video screen in the Face of Steel, so guests can see them when they arrive and Karen has also been ringing round to see if she can get entertainers, such as a balloon decorator to pitch in for free to make the event a bit more special.

“We hope that we can turn a disaster into a dream day for Karl and Natalie. I can’t think of anything more heartbreaking than having to cancel a wedding reception. So I am so pleased we can help out,” said Karen.



Reporters, photographers and cameras are welcome at the event on Friday, which starts at 7.30pm. Please contact Karen Staniforth or Helen Davies at Magna to confirm attendance.

Media contact at Magna: marketing manager Karen Staniforth on 01709 723123 or email  Or Helen Davies on the same number or at Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07792 764891 or at

Magna is housed in the former Templeborough steelworks, just off junction 34 of the M1. The steelworks were once the biggest in the world and employed 10,000 people. The works were built during World War One and shut in 1993. They remained derelict until being transformed into an award-winning visitor attraction in 2001. 

Magna has four pavilions on a theme of air, earth, fire and water, which house over 100 interactive exhibits, and it also boasts outdoor and water play areas. The centrepiece Big Melt uses stunning pyrotechnic and audio techniques to recreate steel-making using a huge original electric arc furnace.

Magna is open daily, from 10am to 5pm with last entry at 4pm. 

Magna also plays host to events and exhibitions and offers a range of corporate and party facilities.

It is due to host the Olympic flame on its journey around the UK on Tuesday June 26th, when the torch-bearer will run through the whole building.

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