A lovestruck railway employee proposed to his girlfriend by reading a love poem on the tannoy – on a packed-out Saturday morning TRAIN
Christian Strickland was on his way to a Remembrance service in London with girlfriend Claire Hiley when he read out the poem before getting down on bended knee.
The 34-year-old excused himself from his seat, saying he wanted to go to the loo, before reading out a poem, taken from the 1999 Shane Meadows film, A Room for Romeo Brass, over the speaker.
The British comedy drama is a favourite of the couples and features a feeble attempt by a young Paddy Considine to win over Vicky McLure.
He read out on the PA system on the 10.29 East Midlands train from Sheffield to St Pancras: “One beat, two beat, three beat, sugar beat.
“Four beat, five beat, six beat, weet-a-beet.
“Seven beat, eight beat, nine beat, heart beat. My heart beat. My heart is beating… for you.”
As the train passed Derby, Christian, who works as an operational manager for Network Rail, told Claire to “Just stay where you are” before striding down the aisle, with fellow passengers wishing him luck as he passed, and getting down on one knee and asking Claire to marry him.
Christian said: “Seeing the look of surprise on Claire’s face made it all worthwhile, though she probably won’t thank me for that.
“I’m quite willing to make a bit of a show of myself but she’s a bit more reserved.
“As soon as she said yes, everyone started clapping, and throughout the journey people were coming up and congratulating us.
“It was a really nice experience and certainly one we will never forget.
“It’s strange because in all the planning I was just thinking about me and Claire. I never thought about the reaction of others.
“It was pretty amazing.”
The Heartbeat poem Christian chose was taken from one of their favourite films.
Christian said: “When we watched it together a few years ago, she said ‘that’s the sort of thing you’d do’.
“Paddy Considine plays a rather simple character, a bit like me.”
Christian and Claire, who is aged 39 and also works for Network Rail, as a planning assistant, have been together for four years.
They each have two children, both aged seven and 10, from a previous marriage, and Christian said it was only once he had broken the news to them shortly before the proposal that the nerves really set in.
Delighted Claire said: “It was a total surprise, I had no idea and also never thought he could be so romantic.”
The couple, from Sheffield, South Yorks., who were headed to the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, toasted their engagement on board with a bottle of champagne – in first-class.
They attended the Remembrance Day ceremony in Sheffield city centre the following day with Claire’s children and her parents.