'˜Huge surprise' for couple on new Queensferry Crossing

BRIDGE-MAD Mark McDonald got down one knee for a surprise proposal - on the nearly-finished Queensferry Crossing.

Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 12:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 12:08 pm
The couple said the 1.7-mile Queensferry Crossing would hold a special place in their hearts forever following the huge surprise. Picture; John Jeffay

He told partner Carrie Taylor they were going on a rare “educational tour” of the structure for her 30th birthday.

Then he popped the question, wearing a hard hat and hi-vis jacket on what will become Britain’s highest bridge (its towers will be 656ft).

Carrie, of Stanley, Perthshire, said the 1.7-mile Queensferry Crossing would hold a special place in their hearts forever following the “huge surprise”.

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She said both she and Mark have been fascinated by the construction of the new £1.3bn bridge which, once completed, will be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge on the planet. It will replace the ageing Forth Road Bridge.

Carrie said: “It was Saturday, which was my 30th birthday. He asked me what I wanted to do in the morning. In the evening I was going out with my sister.

“I said I wanted to go through to Edinburgh to get breakfast. He took this detour when we got off the Forth Road Bridge and went into Queensferry Visitor Centre.

“I was really nervous. I thought he was going there to take me bungee-jumping off the bridge.

“I just didn’t expect anything. My 30th birthday was going good, going over the tallest bridge in the UK. I thought that was great.”

Mark, 33 and Carrie were given a briefing by senior staff before embarking on the “one-off” visit, and were kitted out in safety gear including high-vis jackets and hard hats.

When they offered to have their photo taken, Carrie realised quickly that a video was being recorded instead.

She added: “Mark got down on one knee and asked to marry me. It wasn’t the outfit I would have chosen. I said ‘can I take my gloves off?’

“I had no idea it was coming. Mark sort of double-bluffed me. He said it was too cliche to do it on my birthday.

“At the time I was just in complete shock.

“It was a really special moment. Certainly nobody else can say they got proposed to on the Queensferry Crossing.”

Mark, 33, is an SSE compliance auditor with a love of engineering who finds the crossing “fascinating”.

He had secured Carrie’s mum’s wedding ring, and had it fitted with an emerald.

Carrie, who works as a regional support manager for a private healthcare provider, added her son, Taylor, eight, was delighted at the news.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “As a one-off it was nice to help out this lovely couple and provide a unique backdrop for a surprise proposal.

“We wish them all the very best for their future.”

The crossing is due to be finished between mid-July and the end of August.

Its towers will be 656ft high upon completion.