Felixstowe: Market trader proposes to his girlfriend on the beach before Christmas Day charity dip

Andy Storey and his girlfriend Denise Tuner, who got engaged on Christmas Day when he proposed durin

Andy Storey and his girlfriend Denise Tuner, who got engaged on Christmas Day when he proposed during the St Elizabeth Swim at Felixstowe.

It was a Christmas Day to remember for a happy Felixstowe couple.

Andy Storey, a 48-year -old self-employed cycle wholesaler and market trader proposed to his girlfriend of five years, Denise Turner shortly before 450 people took to the sea on Wednesday for St Elizabeth’s Hospice.

Andy said: “We’ve been together for around five years and we had decided to get married for my 50th birthday in June 2015.

“It was the ideal opportunity to do it in front of her family as they were all there.”

Andy was acting as a DJ for the party with equipment provided by Crystal Sounds Mobile Disco in order to keep the festive dippers warm.

He said: “I played Surfing USA, YMCA and Hot Hot Hot, which was quite funny considering it was cold, cold, cold.”

However it almost didn’t go to plan, “I had arranged to propose at five to ten, and as the time was nearing Denise wasn’t there”, he said.

Denise, who turned 54 yesterday and works at the Dockstop Café, wasn’t planning on going to the beach.

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She said: “We had family over for dinner and I was preparing for that. I didn’t have a clue.

“I was totally gobsmacked. It’s amazing.”

Now the couple are looking forward to the wedding.

Denise said: “We’re going to try and get married on the beach.”

It was the 10th anniversary of the Hospice’s Christmas Day Dip, and £40,000 was raised.

St Elizabeth Hospice’s Events Fundraiser, Emily Sullivan, said: “Raising £40,000 is an incredible amount and will go a long way to helping us continue to improve life for people living with a progressive illness in East Suffolk and South Norfolk.”

However, Andy won’t be diving into the North Sea next year.

He said: “I’m hoping to be asked to do the music next year so I don’t have to go in!”