Power of love
Illuminated proposal hits the heights
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