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SURPRISE lighthouse proposal 27 Feb 2012

A student was swept off her feet when her childhood sweetheart proposed at the top of Tynemouth lighthouse.


Lisette Morren 22, who is from Holland and studying medicine at Newcastle University, was lost for words when boyfriend Niels van Norel popped the big question.

But luckily for Niels, his girlfriend said the all-important 'yes', and the sailing enthusiasts celebrated with champagne whilst looking out to sea.

The Port of Tyne was in on the surprise after Niels 24, contacted the Port to ask if they could fix it for him to access the lighthouse for the day.

Mike Nicholson, Port of Tyne, Harbour Master said: "The lighthouse is normally open to the public during heritage open days in September, but we couldn't help but make an exception and do our best to make it a memorable experience".

Niels had made a surprise visit to Newcastle on Friday morning after travelling from Enschede, in Holland.

Lisette, said: "I thought that Niels' sister was coming over because she said she wanted to see Newcastle and we had planned what we were going to do. But when I went to the Airport to pick her up, Niels came walking through the terminal. I just couldn't believe it, it was such a surprise. I was just thinking, what is he doing here?"

"We got on the Metro to go back to my flat in Wallsend, but then Niels suggested I take him to see the coast. We're both big sailing fans so I didn't think anything of it."

Unbeknown to Lisette, Niels had contacted the Port of Tyne to arrange to go into Tynemouth lighthouse, as he had thought it the perfect place to propose.

Niels, 24, who is studying Construction Management and Engineering in Holland, said: "Lisette and I are both big sailing fans so I wanted to do something special close to the sea.

"Because she was studying at Newcastle, I started looking at places on the internet where I could propose. I thought a castle was a bit cliché, but Tynemouth lighthouse caught my eye."

Niels sent an email to the Port of Tyne last Saturday, and was delighted to hear that they could cater to his request. And in less than a week he had flown into Newcastle to surprise Lisette.

He said: "The Port of Tyne was absolutely fantastic. They even had champagne and flowers waiting for us when we got there. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect setting."

Niels added: "I was confident that Lisette would say 'yes'. I spoke to her father the night before to get his permission, and that was probably more nerve-wrecking than proposing to Lisette.

"We have been together for nearly five years now, and have known each other even longer than that."

Lisette will return to Holland to finish her studies in April, and hopes to become a paediatrician.

She said: "Niels did really well to keep it all secret. It was a lovely surprise when he asked though, and I had no hesitation in saying 'yes'. As we were drinking champagne, one of the glasses broke.

But in Holland that means you will have seven years of good luck.

"I certainly hope we are together much longer than seven years though," she joked.


For more information please contact:
Lisa Donohoe, Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel : 0191 455 2671

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