Leap year families celebrate special days

Mum Erica Sparven with her baby Harvey,  born on February 29th at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Mum Erica Sparven with her baby Harvey, born on February 29th at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
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LOVERS and mothers in Sunderland had a busy Leap Year.

Yesterday was traditionally the day when women can propose to the man in their life.

Ken Butler married Anika Waterstreet at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens with family members.

Ken Butler married Anika Waterstreet at the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens with family members.

However, new bride Anika Waterstreet chose yesterday to tie the knot with long-term partner Ken Butler.

The happy couple made their vows under the green canopy of Sunderland’s Winter Gardens.

Bridesmaid was oldest daughter Gillian, 12.

In keeping with the unusual date, Anika, 32, a pharmacy assistant, popped the question to Ken, 40, at their home in Ryhope last year.

Leapling baby Corey Lee - Purvis with mum Chelsea Purvis and dad Alan Cummings soon after his birth at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Leapling baby Corey Lee - Purvis with mum Chelsea Purvis and dad Alan Cummings soon after his birth at Sunderland Royal Hospital

“We were looking for a venue that wasn’t a pub or a church,” she said.

“We thought the date would stand out as we’re not really into Valentine’s Day.”

The couple, who have been together for 15 years after meeting in the Alexandra pub in Grangetown, are also parents to Bethany, 11, and Sophie, six.

Ken, a driver for Station Taxis, will take time out from behind the wheel as the newly-weds spend their honeymoon in London.

Also yesterday, babies Corey Lee Purvis and Harvey Sparven became Sunderland’s latest “leaplings.”

Although they don’t know it yet, they will have to wait until 2016 to celebrate their next birthdays.

Corey was born at 8.20am at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Doting dad Alan Cummings, 22, of Washington, said: “He was due on February 20 so he’s more than a week late, but we’re just glad he’s okay.”

Corey’s mum Chelsea says that until February 29 next comes round in four years’ time, he will celebrate his birthday on February 28, the same day as his older brother Taylor, five.

Chelsea, 24, said: “We are just going to move his birthday to the 28th so that they have a double birthday for them.

“Taylor’s already really excited about getting a little brother.”

Harvey Sparven was born at 6.36am yesterday.

New mum Erica, of Hylton Castle, said she will make sure he celebrates his birthday on March 1 most years.

Harvey was also a late baby, having been due last week.

“The birth only took about four hours when I got in the hospital so everything is okay,” said Erica, who was accompanied to Sunderland Royal’s delivery suite by her mum Lisa, 40.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho