A DATING couple cemented their relationship with a little help from a “tunnel of love”.
The Tyne Tunnel may be an unlikely spot for a wedding proposal, but lovestruck Ross Brown, from Seaham, chose to pop the question to girlfriend Michelle Boylin as they passed through it.
The bride-to-be then turned the tables on her fiance by having her answer lit up on a road sign at the tunnel entrance as they drove through again.
The gesture on Valentine’s Day left Ross delighted – and other motorists scratching their heads.
The couple then returned home for a romantic supper of omelette and chips.
Michelle, 28, said: “I suppose the tunnel is kind of special to us both because I’m from Wallsend and Ross is from Seaham, so it connects those two places.
“I go through the tunnel everyday as I work at Silverlink and I just thought it would be a good idea.
“I said we were going for a meal near where I worked so Ross would have to come through the tunnel.
“He and his friend saw it. I don’t think they knew what to think.
“I thought it looked brilliant.”
The couple, who have been together for two-and-a-half years and now live in Seaham, met when they were set up by friends on online social networking site Facebook.
Ross, a production line worker at Nissan, decided it was time to tie the knot and proposed by leaving the ring – which he picked months earlier – in the ashtray of their car on Christmas Day.
While Michelle knew a proposal was coming, Ross had refused to tell her when.
He managed to catch her off guard by asking her as they drove through the tunnel and Michelle put the ring on, but never actually gave Ross a formal “yes”.
She said: “Ross doesn’t wear jewellery so I was struggling to think of something I could get him as an engagement present.
“I drive through the Tyne Tunnel all of the time and I remember when they had the ‘Come on Joe’ signs up during X Factor last year.
“I gave them a call, expecting them to say no, but they were really nice and up for it.
“It linked in well with me being proposed to in the tunnel. It’s definitely the tunnel of love for us.”
Ross said: “I was so surprised when I saw the sign. I never thought Michelle would do something like that for me. It was really nice to do it where we had got engaged.
“When it came to proposing I was nervous and I didn’t know when to do it. It was while we had slowed down to go through the tunnel, I just said, ‘will you marry me?’ and luckily she was over the moon.”