All aboard! Collier Row captain proposes to partner with the help of a bus

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 April 2017

A merchant navy captain popped the question to the love of his life with a little help from friends and family - and a bus.

Sid Bali, 41, of Ascension Road, Collier Row, knew he wanted to do something special when he got down on one knee for his potential bride-to-be 30-year-old Kirsty Leonard.

So when his future mother-in-law Steph Philips, who works for Stagecoach, suggested hiring a bus to ask for Kirsty’s hand in marriage, Sid knew it was the way forward.

He said: “I wanted to do something a bit different, something I know she’d remember so when Kirsty’s mum mentioned the bus, I couldn’t think of a better idea.”

After seven months of planning and arranging for family and friends to meet the bus in Clockhouse Lane, the all important day for him to ask the question came at the weekend.

Sid said: “The day before, she said that she had plans to go out when I was going to propose and I told her she couldn’t, because I booked for us to go to a special lunch.

“I think she thought it was strange but she didn’t catch on thankfully!

“When we were walking down to the restaurant I said I was taking her to, the bus pulled over and she saw the “will you marry me?” sign and she didn’t realise it was for her until she saw her mum on the bus!

“She was the star of the day.”

Kirsty was working for a shipping company when she first started speaking to Sid for work purposes by email but it wasn’t before long the pair hit it off and started dating.

The couple are planning to have the big day next June.

She said: “I didn’t quite believe it was for me but when I saw loads of people I knew on board it kind of clicked.

“Sid’s never been able to surprise me so I’m more shocked he could keep it from me for this long!”

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