Power of love

Il­lu­mi­nated pro­posal hits the heights

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Melissa JONES [email protected]­plc.com

LOTS of lights, a gen­er­a­tor and plenty of will power gave a lucky Glouces­ter­shire woman a pro­posal she will never for­get – al­beit af­ter a bit of a false start. And it cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of peo­ple liv­ing nearby so much, the cou­ple re­peated the mo­ment so they could share Kirsty Pet­tit was stunned when her part­ner of 14 months Lee Bur­ford un­veiled an il­lu­mi­nated heart shape on Cooper’s Hill. Fa­mous for cheese rolling t near their home in Brock­worth, the 45-de­gree slope was due to be the lo­ca­tion for Lee’s pro­posal, but tech­ni­cal hitches meant he had to have a plan B. Although he had spent hours putting it to­gether with the help of his best friend Dan Smart, some of the gen­er­a­tor-pow­ered LED lights failed to work. So he took Kirsty out for a meal at the Spice Lodge in Chel­tenham, the venue for their first date. They called in at their favourite spot in Wit­combe where he popped the ques­tion. The next morning Lee, 33, de­cided to try to fix the lights, which cov­ered 400 square me­tres.

He said: “It was a bit of a night­mare to be hon­est!” he laughed. “Re­ally hard work. Orig­i­nally the heart was go­ing to be filled in so I had to change the way it looked, then some of them wouldn’t work. “We had to im­pro­vise and in the end I think it was bet­ter the way it was.” He con­tin­ued: “I pro­posed at the spot where I asked Kirsty to be my girl­friend on the Satur­day, then on the Sun­day we turned the lights on and sat in a cir­cle, cel­e­brat­ing with some Cham­pagne and our friends. “We’ve had lots of pos­i­tive com­ments, it has been good.” So what did Kirsty make of the grand plan? “It was very cre­ative,” she said. “I loved it. Lee loves do­ing things for other peo­ple, he’s in­cred­i­bly gen­er­ous so it was nice we had so much pos­i­tive feed­back about it from the com­mu­nity. “We al­ways see Cooper’s Hill when we are head­ing to our house, we are quite proud of liv­ing near there.” The cou­ple have known each other since they were teenagers but lost touch for a few years be­fore re­con­nect­ing through a mu­tual firend. As Lee works as a struc­tural en­gi­neer, the steep slope didn’t prove too much of a hin­drance. His friend Zara Stevens stood at the bot­tom of the hill to make sure the heart looked per­fect be­fore the big switch-on. The heart caused such a buzz in the area, Lee re­lit it for an hour on Tues­day night with peo­ple mak­ing the trek to the top of the hill to join in. Lee and Kirsty, a teacher at All Saints’ Academy in Chel­tenham, plan to marry on Au­gust 8 next year in Wit­combe.

Lee Bur­ford and Kirsty Pet­tit with the gi­ant heart at Cooper’s Hill

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