A BRIDE whose wedding day was almost ruined by a thief got the surprise of her life when a convoy of 4x4 rescue vehicles arrived on her big day.

Last month, Andrew Lofthouse and his fiancee Natalie Bell were left devastated when two mopeds they had bought each other as pre-nuptual gifts were stolen from outside their home in Douglas Grove, Darwen.

The bikes were recovered a few days later but had been damaged.

The costs incurred from the incident left Mr Lofthouse, 27, and his 23-year-old bride-to-be unable to afford wedding cars for their big day.

But Natalie’s uncle Jason Laidler, a volunteer with the North East 4x4 Response Team, decided to plan a surprise for them.

Mr Laidler, who helps out at the organisation which consists of 4x4 drivers who assist emergency services in tricky situations, contacted his friends at the North West team.

Between them, they arranged for a convoy of seven to take the new Mrs Lofthouse-Bell to the hotel in Preston.

The convoy was also led by two emergency blood bikers.

Andrew said: “It was a real surprise when I saw Natalie pull up in the 4x4 convoy.

“It was brilliant. Natalie really enjoyed it after she stopped crying. It made her very emotional to have her uncle drive her to the hotel with all the flashing lights.

“It was fantastic and we could not have had a nicer day.”

Natalie’s mum Julie said: “This was a complete surprise to Natalie and she was over the moon. Myself and my husband, Adam, want to thank all the drivers and bikers involved in making our daughter’s wedding so special.”

Mr and Mrs Lofthouse-Bell will enjoy a honeymoon in Blackpool.