It was a wedding day nightmare, when a coach carrying 70 guests to a village church broke down in Market Harborough on Saturday.
How would all the wedding guests now get to the marriage of Leicester City star Andy King and his bride Camilla Middleton at St Andrew’s church, Great Easton, 25 minutes away
Fortunately, the public of Harborough came to the rescue in what bride’s father Julian Middleton called “a local version of the Dunkirk spirit”.
Alerted by the marooned passengers on the coach, up to 15 passing cars and vans offered to ferry the guests to the church. Nearly everyone managed to be in their pews for the (slightly delayed) big day.
And groom’s mother Angy King said: “We would like to send a thank you, through your paper, to all those random people who helped us out, and ensured the wedding could take place.”
The drama began at around 11.15am on Saturday, when a coach transporting guests from Kilworth House – where most guests stayed and where the Reception was held – to Great Easton, broke down at traffic lights on Welland Park Road, Market Harborough.
Coach passengers included groom Andy’s parents Jon and Angy King, friends and many members of both families.
Angy told the Mail: “The vicar had another wedding to take straight after ours so we could not be late.
“So some of my son’s friends knocked on the windows of the cars who were waiting behind the coach at the lights and asked if they would be willing to drive some of the guests to Great Easton.
“The response was amazing... the drivers were so willing to help.
“Six guests even arrived on the floor of a van!”
The bride’s father Julian Middleton who lives in Illston on the Hill, told the Mail: “ We got a call at 11.30 to say ‘our bus has broken down in Market Harborough’. But it seems the guests were going to the queue of cars saying ‘please help’ and nearly everyone said ‘yes’.
“I’d really like to thank all those passers-by in Market Harborough who helped. One woman was even in a new car she hadn’t driven on country lanes before!”
The wedding, due to start at noon, actually began at about 12.40pm.
The Rev Stephen Bishop, who conducted the service, said: “It was the first of three weddings I had that day, so I’d asked the bride to make sure she was on time. To be fair, she was on time – it’s just that there was no congregation!
“I was determined that the wedding would still feel unrushed and dignified, and it was a lovely occasion.
“But I won’t tell you how fast I drove to the next wedding at Hallaton!”