Lee pops the question on romantic ride

IT'S full steam ahead for one loved-up couple after a romantic railway ride brought about a marriage proposal.

James Hore

IT'S full steam ahead for one loved-up couple after a romantic railway ride brought about a marriage proposal.

Lee Nayler does not regard himself as a rail enthusiast and his only dealing with trains is his daily commute into London.

But when he was out cycling with girlfriend, Gemma Bezer, a passing steam train inspired the 35-year-old to make some enquiries about finding a possible venue to propose.

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And yesterday morning the children's clothes importer and his unsuspecting girlfriend were alone in the “Royal Carriage” enjoying the Essex countryside at the Colne Valley Railway at Castle Hedingham.

Like an old romantic, Lee went down on one knee and thankfully for him Gemma said yes.

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Speaking to the EADT afterwards, he said it had been the prefect Christmas present.

“I wanted to do something a bit different and I thought this would be a lovely way to propose.

“Gemma had said how she would like to go on a steam train at some point, so I thought this was the perfect idea and she did not have a clue what I was going to do.

“I am terrible at keeping secrets normally as she sees right through me, but on this occasion I managed it.”

Lee had already tackled one tough question before yesterday - getting permission from Gemma's dad, Paul - and yesterday his luck continued.

“I told her I had another surprise for her and went down on one knee. There were a few nervous laughs and almost some tears, but it was perfect.

“I hope it is something that she will always remember - I cannot think of a nicer way of doing it.

“Having spoken to a lot of my friends, they just asked their girlfriends in no particular place but I wanted to do something a bit special for Gemma.”

The pair, from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, have yet to set a date or choose a venue for their big day.

Brian Smith, general manager, said: “Lee wanted to do it on Christmas Eve but the trains are not running so we went for today.

“It is the first time that we have had a proposal here onboard a train - we do birthdays for all sorts of ages, but this was the first proposal and means we have a 100% record.”

The happy couple were given flowers and champagne by staff as they got off the train and Gemma's favourite music was played on an organ near the platform.

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