Whilst it is not uncommon to have the pleasure of reporting on Land Rover marriages in our pages, it was a rare honour to be invited by Midland Rover Owners Club’s chairman, Richard Smith, to help club member Gareth Roberts deliver a marriage proposal to the love of his life, Rachel White, this Spring Bank Holiday at the ALRC National Rally.
Gareth and Rachel first met via a mutual friend whilst repairing their Land Rovers; their first date was unsurprisingly at an MROC trial, where smooth operator Gareth, offered to be Rachel’s navigator.
Their love blossomed during a road trip around the coast of Wales, at that point Gareth began plotting the most romantic means of popping the question. Eastnor was the obvious location and with the assistance of family, a select group of club members and friends, all sworn to secrecy, plans were made and banners painted.
Gareth persuaded Rachel to accompany him to the top of the Deer Park’s hill in his 110, using the excuse that they ‘needed to collect a radio repeater’. Strangely the repeater could not be found, ‘oh well, let’s just sit on the bonnet and take in the view’.
What Rachel was not aware of was that the convoy of vehicles she could see snaking up the hill, led by a Land Rover Experience Discovery, were on a special mission. Or, that Gareth had strategically parked so that the phrase ‘Rachel Mary White Will You Marry Me?’ attached to the seven Land Rovers (I got ‘Will’) would appear from the trees one word at a time.
I’ll leave Gareth to tell the rest of the story.
‘She spotted the Landy convoy and rather impressively picked out Raay, her old Disco, in the line-up from 300 yards away, and then worked out who most of the others were, mainly the MROC committee.
‘They then came close and turned, left to right, thus presenting the individual words perfectly; she watched the cars while I got off the bonnet and onto one knee. When she saw the 'Will' she realised what was happening and looked at me. I asked and she then jumped on me and said “YES”.
‘I then presented the alternative ring, a wheel nut, a spare previously used on my Landy bored out to size. The rest is all a bit of a blur, probably because I was a bit teary-eyed at the fact she said yes and the relief that I'd pulled it off.
‘As the convoy left we spent the next fifteen minutes talking about what just happened as she put all the pieces together that on their own were fine, but suddenly all made a lot more sense.’
Here’s to many happy decades of Land Rovering for a truly lovely couple, who confirmed that romance is not dead.
Gareth has compiled a video of the proposal, and everything that led up to it at - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7AZpUHyPz4&feature=youtu.be