A LOVESTRUCK suitor’s romantic proposal in the skies over Walton captured the hearts of residents along the coast... and sparked a social media hunt to find the would-be fiancee.

Dan Smyth popped the question to long-term girlfriend Amber Dewick during a visit to the coast on Sunday.

The 29-year-old mechanic’s original plan was to propose in Venice, but the couple’s trip to Italy was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dan instead arranged for a break in Walton and during the visit, he arranged for a light aircraft’s aerial banner to help him pop the question.

Hundreds of residents and visitors from Clacton to Walton spotted the hopeful sign and flocked to social media to find out whether she said yes.


  • Residents had to know the answer after spotting the sign in the sky

Locals even launched a hashtag #FindAmber in their bid to find out whether she accepted the proposal.

After being alerted to the messages by friends, the 29-year-old midwife at Harlow’s Princess Alexandra Hospital took to social media to put people out of their misery.

“It was me – and yes, I did say yes,” posted Amber, sparking hundreds of congratulatory messages.


  • Amber and new fiance Dan

Speaking to the Gazette, she added: “We were supposed to go to Venice, but that fell through with Covid-19, so he wanted to book something for the weekend.

“He planned a different type of proposal and it caught me off guard – he’d been throwing me off the scent for quite a while.

“The plane was behind me at the time and he pointed it out and asked me what it said.

“I turned around to read it and when I turned back, he was already down on one knee with the engagement ring out.

“According to him, I didn’t say yes for about ten minutes, I just cried… but then I said yes.

“I’m feeling happy and emotional.

“I’ve been waiting six years – it’s been a long time,” she joked.

Amber, who lives in Harlow with Dan, found the reaction of local people on social media to be heart-warming.


  • Dan and Amber are now engaged

She said: “It’s quite funny - I told him once before that if he asked me to marry him in public, I’d say no and run away – and he couldn’t have got any more public than this.

“There’s one or two people that I used to work with who moved up here and they tagged me in a post on social media and told me there was a hashtag #FindAmber.

“All the people online seemed fascinated.

“They were all lovely and wished us congratulations – it was quite sweet.

“I don’t know how Dan managed it - he put so much thought into it considering Venice fell through.

“He arranged this in about three weeks and had a photographer there as well.

“He’s even made sure I’d had my nails done and he’s secretly taken one of my rings to make sure the new one fitted.

“He thought of everything.”

Amber said the proposal, which took place on the seafront close to Walton Pier, caught her off guard, but that arrangements for the wedding will be put on hold until their house sale is completed.

“We’re just in the middle of buying a house, so we’ll get that sorted first I think,” she added.

“I haven’t planned anything for a wedding, l will have to speak to my friends so they can sort it all out with me.

“I’m so excited – it all still feels a bit surreal at the moment.”

Resident Joe Bassi was visiting his father when he spotted the message in the skies over Walton.

After posting a picture on social media, locals launched an online hunt to find Amber.

He said: “I was helping my dad with his gardening and dropped my tools and rushed to get my phone to take a picture.”

Amber eventually responded to the post and Joe wished her and her new fiancé well.

“Congratulations to them,” he added.