A 'TOUGH cookie' mum gave birth to her second son in the back of a van parked on a petrol station forecourt last week.

Natasha Clarke's husband Ben was forced to deliver baby Idris Joseph Ieuan – younger brother to Tadhg, two – in the couple's Volkswagen T5.

They had been on their way to Poole Hospital, but Idris was in a rush – and the nine-pound baby was born at the Texaco garage in Sandford Road, Wareham.

Staff at the petrol station brought out Champagne for the couple afterwards.

Ben said: "At about 5.30pm, Tash had been having contractions every ten minutes or so.

"We live in Creech, so we decided to get going, but all of a sudden it started to speed up.

"We didn't even get to the bottom of the road before everything started happening at once."

After abandoning the attempt to get to hospital in time, Ben pulled over in a corner of the petrol station between two cars and called the maternity unit. With the phone on loudspeaker, a midwife talked the couple through the birth.

"They were absolutely amazing to us," he said.

"Tash was so fantastic. She's a tough cookie – an absolute trooper.

"There was no time at all – by the time the ambulance turned up, he was born and in his mum's arms.

"Everyone was brilliant to us. The staff at the garage came out with a bottle."

The family were taken to Poole Hospital to recover, but are now back home.

During their stay in the maternity ward, the midwife who talked Ben through the birth over the phone also came to visit.

"I can't say enough about them all, to be honest," he said.

"They were absolutely fantastic to us."