Marry me! It's in writing on a Littlehampton bench

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Image caption,
The couple put their proposal and response in writing

When love is part of your name and you share your birthday with St Valentine, your marriage proposal has to be something special.

Vicki Lovegrove, 35, decided to pop the question in writing - on a public bench on Littlehampton seafront.

Ms Lovegrove, of Trinity Way, arranged for her message to be engraved on Britain's longest bench.

Much to her relief, shocked partner Andrew Fray, 39, said yes - and had his own reply engraved on the same seat.

Ms Lovegrove arranged with Arun district council for the engraving and then suggested that the couple took a walk past the landmark bench.

'I panicked'

She said: "I felt nervous but excited walking down to the bench. I knew Andrew was going to be completely surprised by my proposal, but pleasantly so, I hoped.

"Being Sunday I didn't think there would be too many people out and about at that time, but I hadn't banked on there being a fun run going on with the finish line just past my bench slat.

"I panicked a little bit because I was afraid the perfect moment I had hoped for would be ruined.

"It may sound corny, but Andrew and I were oblivious to all the fun and commotion going on around us, and the moment we shared was a very special and intimate one."

Mr Fray, 39, who manages a travel agency, said: "The funny thing is she didn't spot it and walked straight past but I was skim-reading them all and saw it.

"When I saw the words I couldn't stop grinning. I felt really pleased and excited, there was no hesitation in replying yes!"

Image caption,
The couple hope to marry soon

He responded by arranging for an adjoining slat to be engraved with his positive response.

The couple hope to marry soon, and want their dog, Sollie, who features in the proposal, to be best "man".

Mr Fray added: "I love the fact that she can still surprise me. She is just my life and I wouldn't want to be without her."

A spokesman for Arun council, which oversaw the creation of the 324m bench, said: "We have had many requests for messages, but this is the first proposal to date.

"We're very relieved that Andrew said yes, and so was Vicki."

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