MELISSA Rowland had the best Christmas present ever when boyfriend Adam Maud proposed in front of the Longford Road lights on Christmas Eve.
Melissa thought she was going out for a quiet Christmas meal but Adam stopped off at the lights to pop the question.
“It was just a complete surprise,” said Melissa. “I love the lights and we’ve been to see them a few times already so when Adam said we should have another look, I thought it was a nice idea.
“Just as we arrived, Father Christmas and his Elves, who were out collecting money, said he had a special announcement to make. He cleared the crowd from in front of the house and there was Adam with a ring in his hand asking me to marry him.
“It was so romantic and, of course, I said yes.”
Adam added, “We’ve been going out for two years and I’ve been thinking about proposing for a while so I thought I’d surprise her. I know she loves the lights at Longford Road so I spoke to the organisers last week to plan it.”
The lights at 1 Longford Road have been drawing large crowds and raising thousands of pounds for the Dorothy House charity.
The house is believed to be the most decorated in the country with over 200,000 lights and visitors have been travelling from surrounding towns and much further afield after the lights were featured in national newspapers and on television.
“We’ve had people here from as far afield as Brighton, Leicester, Kent, and Norwich as well as all the surrounding towns,” said Colin Goodhind whose family created the display. “There has been large crowds every night and we’re delighted to have raised thousands of pounds for Dorothy House.”
The fundraising had a further £9,000 boost after the DIY chain B&Q used a picture of the lights to promote its own products as part of their online Christmas advertising campaign with the Daily Mirror.
As the lights are raising funds for charity, the Goodhinds asked for a donation, only for B&Q to decline.
This angered local residents who launched an online petition calling on B&Q to do the right thing and make a donation to Dorothy House. Within days almost 4,000 people had signed the petition and B&Q quickly changed their stance and donated £8,000.
This donation was quickly followed up by a £1,000 donation from the Daily Mirror for their role.
Colin Goodhind said “We’re obviously very grateful for the donation they’ve made, but disappointed it took a petition to do that. But it means Dorothy House will have an extra £9,000 on top of what we have collected.”
A B&Q spokesman said, “B&Q has donated £8,000 to the Longford Road Christmas Appeal for the Dorothy House Foundation with our very best wishes.
“Melksham’s festive display is absolutely magnificent which is why we believe the Daily Mirror decided to use it in their Christmas feature article that B&Q has sponsored.”
Following the donations being made a post was made to the 1 Longford Road Christmas lights page that said, “Alex, Colin, Sarah and the rest of the team would like to thank everyone who supported putting pressure on B&Q to make a donation and of course to B&Q for then donating £8,000. A great result for Dorothy House!”