by MARY MAGEE
Nichola and dad Eric arrive at Templeton
Hotel in the police car. Pics by FRANK HIGGINSON
every bride's right to arrive late for her own wedding, but it's
something different to arrive late and in a police car.
But Nichola McCall, who married Gary Balmer
on Thursday, was not under arrest...the vintage gold Bentley car
she was travelling in had broken down and Lisburn police stepped
in to give Nichola and her father Eric a lift to the wedding
destination at Templepatrick.
The pair had left their home at The Brambles
at Knockmore Road at 1.40pm for the wedding at the Templeton
Hotel, just minutes after the bride's mother and bridesmaids had
left in a black Daimler. But the car broke down just a mile away
at the Pond Park Road..
They had just rung the bride's mum Arm to
tell her what had happened when Nichola's knight in shining
armour arrived, in the form of Inspector Mark Roberts who was on
patrol at the time.
He saw what had happened and offered the
police car to get bride and father to Templepatrick, just in
time - well just 20 minutes late.
Ann said up to that point the wedding plans
had been been running smoothly.
"When Eric rang and said that they had broken
down I thought that it was just one of his pranks, he is always
joking around," she said.
"But when he said our car would have to come
back again to Lisburn to pick them up I realised he was
Minutes later Ann got another phone call to
say that everything was fine and that they had got a lift - from
"Nichola didn't care what transport she had,
she was just glad to get to her wedding," said Ann. "When she
got into the vintage car there was a lot of care taken to get
her dress in. But when she got into the police car her father
just threw the dress behind her."
All this time the husband to be, Gary Balmer,
was waiting patiently in Templepatrick.
"When he heard what had happened his first
thought was she wasn't going to make it," said Ann. "It's the
sort fo thing you read about, but you don't expect it to happen
Insp Mark Roberts said: "It was a pleasure to
be able to help a bride on her big day and make sure she got to
her wedding on time. Helping people is the very basis of our job
and it was great to get the opportunity to do it in such a nice