THEY say that music is the food of love and it was certainly the case when Ian Thatcher finally popped the question to his long-term girlfriend Lucy Cowcill at South Harting.
He enlisted the help of Ella de Jongh who runs the innovative ‘Choir Named Dave’ and her quirky advertising blackboard.
The blackboard, on the side of the road next to the congregational church, has become a talking point in the village with its pithy one-liners.
On Valentine’s Day there was ‘don’t be late, make Dave your date’ and in the recent sunny weather ‘ here comes the sun, join the fun.’
But on Wednesday the blackboard turned its attention to matters of the heart.
“Ian had been trying to figure out a way to propose to Lucy for a couple of months now,” said Ella.
“They are very fond of Dave’s blackboard and he has joked about wanting to sabotage it so this seemed the perfect way to drop a hint about the proposal.”
Lucy, who usually works from home in Compton, had one trip to her London office planned last week and would be passing the sign twice.
Ian, who was away in Liverpool on business to compound the mystery, instructed Ella to draw a picture of a closed box on one side to see as Lucy left the village.
On the other side of the board, when she returned, she saw an open box and a ring with her nickname ‘Boo’ written above.
When they both got home, Ian got down on one knee and Lucy said ‘Yes’.
“It was fantastic and a complete surprise,” said Lucy, “because we are always joking about the blackboard and how clever they are with the advertising. I didn’t suspect anything when I saw the closed box because I thought they were up to something with the choir, but my suspicions were definitely aroused on the way home as I didn’t think they were many people called ‘Boo’. But I was confused because Ian was away. Then he texted and asked me if I had seen the board and got down on one knee when he got home.”
Dave has invited the newly engaged couple as guests of honour to their upcoming concert in South Harting Village Hall on Saturday May 9 at 7.30pm.