A bride whose wedding car broke down on the way to the ceremony has thanked a good Samaritan who got her to the church and saved the day.
Catherine Ashdown was en-route to Wirksworth’s St Mary’s Church on Saturday with her father, Carl Veal, in a classic Rolls Royce when the clutch gave out on Slack Hill.
The vintage Rolls had just been brought under control by its driver after literally rolling backwards down the hill when 33-year-old Beth Atkinson pulled up behind the stricken wedding party and offered a lift to the church.
Unfortunately, Beth, whose son is disabled with complex needs, had barely enough space in her car for Catherine and had to leave Carl, who is blind, with their wedding driver.
Bride Catherine, 27, who admits to being in somewhat of a state by this point , said: “I nearly went into a full-blown meltdown, thinking I was going to miss my own wedding - I just could not believe this was happening.
“So Beth bundled me into her car in my dress and I was crying at this point but she was so lovely and just calmed me right down and whisked me away to the church.
“The kindness of that lady was overwhelming - I will be forever grateful.”
Beth, of Wingerworth, said: “We were driving down Slack Hill when we realised this car was racing downhill into oncoming traffic, so I stopped.
“I saw Catherine in the back crying and she was saying, ‘just get me to the wedding’.
“I had a car-full but she piled in the back and I took her to Wirksworth - it was just good fun meeting her really. She was a good sport and anyone would have done the same.”
Catherine’s dad, Carl, 57, who made it to the wedding after being picked up from the side of the road by a family member, said the whole day had been like an Ealing comedy but ended up being all the more memorable and happy.
He said: “We were just so grateful for her sudden appearance - it was as if an angel appeared behind us and said, ‘I will get you to the church.”
Catherine and husband, Tom were married at St Mary’s, where many others in their family have before, albeit 45 minutes late and went on to their reception at the Peak Edge Hotel afterwards.