Anna will you marry me?

Photographs:JAMIE FORDE

A newly engaged holidaymaker whose romantic proposal was etched on Barra beach for his partner to see as she landed on the island has thanked the would-be cupids at the local airport.

Jamie Forde from Wakefield’s ambitious plan to pop the question to his partner Anna Sophia during their flight from Glasgow on Saturday was perfectly executed thanks to the efforts of Barra Airport staff.

Speaking to the Free Press following his successful proposal, Jamie said he didn’t have any great expectations that his fairytale plan would come together.

He said: “I had actually heard of Barra because of the flights to the beach as I am a bit of an aviation geek.

“I have been with Anna for two years now, and we have just bought a house. When we had the trip sorted out, I thought I would just email Loganair. I wasn’t expecting them to do anything, but you just have try your luck sometimes.

“They replied saying ‘we’ll sort it,’ and they did. They got in touch with Barra Airport, and Michael Galbraith there was very helpful.

“They didn’t know if it would be visible from the air, but we saw it – and it was fantastic!”

Recalling the nail-biting build-up to the big moment, he said: “It was a short flight from Glasgow on the twin-otter –and I was very anxious how it would all work.

“The plan was as the aeroplane was approaching Barra the tower were going to ask the pilot to do an extra pass –obviously, though, that would be up to their discretion, but thankfully they did it.

“Instead of landing the first time, we did a slow flyover, and at that point Anna wasn’t even looking so I said ‘Anna, look at the beach,’ and I don’t think she knew how to react!”

Describing her feelings at the time, Anna said: “I was just shocked at first, it didn’t feel real, I thought how did he sneak this?

“I didn’t really say anything at first.” Jamie added: “I was quite worried, really, but then it was a yes!”

He added: “And when we landed, I was able to get down on one knee and do it properly.”

Anna said: “My friends and family love it, everyone was surprised!”

Explaining how the proposal came together, Michael Galbraith from Barra Airport told the Free Press: “We tried to get the message as big as we could.

“We had to wait until the tide went out, so we didn’t have much time and we didn’t know if they’d be able to see it from the aircraft.

“We told the pilot en route so they orbited around, when they arrived we took them out so she could see it, and he went down on one knee and she said yes.

“We gave them a bottle of sparkly and took them up the tower so they could see the plane departing, we tried to make it as special as we could.”

He went on to say: “It is nice to be nice, and it is quirky, but Barra Airport is quirky in a lot of ways, so you can understand because of its uniqueness why someone wanted to do it.”

Jamie added: “This island is beautiful, it’s absolutely incredible – it has been a holiday we’ll never forget.”