Firefighter on an emergency mission to pop the question in Darwen

Paul Brown after popping the question to Kelly Wilkinson, assisted by colleagues and the school

Paul Brown after popping the question to Kelly Wilkinson, assisted by colleagues and the school

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A SCHOOL’S celebration assembly took an ‘unexpected’ twist when a firefighter proposed to his girlfriend on stage.

Paul Brown enlisted help from six of his colleagues and members of his new fiancée’s class to ask the most important question of his life.

Fire engine sirens were sounded outside the building before the stage curtains were pulled back to revealed a banner held by members of Kelly Wilkinson’s year four class at Avondale Primary School, Darwen.

Kelly, 36, who has been a special support assistant at the school for six years, said that she was ‘overwhelmed’ and that it came as a ‘complete shock’.

The couple, who live together in Earnsdale Road, have been together for 12 years and have two children.

Paul, who has been a firefighter for 20 years, had previously planned to pop the question nine years ago at the summit of Aiguille du Midi in Italy.

However, his plans, which included a champagne bottle and glasses stuffed into his rucksack, had to be put on hold after the cable car was closed for maintenance work.

The couple are now hoping to set a date soon.

Kelly, who is expecting another child in October, said: “I was overwhelmed with it all.

“It was a big shock but of course I said yes. I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on and then the curtains on the stage were pulled back and there were members of my class holding the banner saying ‘will you marry me’.

“Then Paul walked in and got down on one knee.

“It was so exciting but he had to get back to work so we didn’t have much time to talk that evening.”

Paul, 47, said: “I wanted to do something that was memorable. It had been in the planning for some years and I’m glad it all went to plan.

“I was still on duty so I had my fingers crossed that there were no emergencies, otherwise it would have gone pear-shaped. Only a handful of people knew what was going to happen at the school so it was a big surprise for her.”

Comments (20)

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4:30pm Tue 10 Jun 14

the usher says...

What is the point. They have been "living together" for twelve years and have two children. It seems to me to make a mockery of the institute of marriage. These days some people have a weird aspect of life.
What is the point. They have been "living together" for twelve years and have two children. It seems to me to make a mockery of the institute of marriage. These days some people have a weird aspect of life. the usher
  • Score: -21

4:43pm Tue 10 Jun 14

GracesDad says...

Shameless waste of taxpayers money!! This crew should face disciplinary action.
Shameless waste of taxpayers money!! This crew should face disciplinary action. GracesDad
  • Score: 4

4:52pm Tue 10 Jun 14

rudis_dad says...

GracesDad wrote:
Shameless waste of taxpayers money!! This crew should face disciplinary action.
Suppose they'll be on strike next for better pay and conditions. Tossers.
[quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: Shameless waste of taxpayers money!! This crew should face disciplinary action.[/p][/quote]Suppose they'll be on strike next for better pay and conditions. Tossers. rudis_dad
  • Score: -5

5:14pm Tue 10 Jun 14

CapitaBackHander says...

Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post. CapitaBackHander
  • Score: 8

5:14pm Tue 10 Jun 14

CapitaBackHander says...

Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post. CapitaBackHander
  • Score: -11

5:22pm Tue 10 Jun 14

GracesDad says...

CapitaBackHander wrote:
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on".

To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
[quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!! GracesDad
  • Score: 6

6:11pm Tue 10 Jun 14

shabba says...

what a waste of resources happy story but wrong to use the service like this!!!!
what a waste of resources happy story but wrong to use the service like this!!!! shabba
  • Score: 4

8:27pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Steven Seagull says...

GracesDad wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote:
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on".

To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?
[quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!![/p][/quote]You're actually quite a bellend aren't you? Steven Seagull
  • Score: 6

9:53pm Tue 10 Jun 14

nannapeg says...

Congratulations I personally think we could all do with a lovely surprise like this, it sounds like it was long overdue I'm sure that the use of fire engines and personnel would have been put to good use and combined education for the kids as well as the proposal. It's about time we heard some good news like this for the brigade as lately all I've read about them is cuts to the service and as a service that used to be family friendly it reiterates this. It was a lighter moment in what I deem to be quite a dangerous job and I can't praise the fire brigade enough cause you never know when you may need it
Congratulations I personally think we could all do with a lovely surprise like this, it sounds like it was long overdue I'm sure that the use of fire engines and personnel would have been put to good use and combined education for the kids as well as the proposal. It's about time we heard some good news like this for the brigade as lately all I've read about them is cuts to the service and as a service that used to be family friendly it reiterates this. It was a lighter moment in what I deem to be quite a dangerous job and I can't praise the fire brigade enough cause you never know when you may need it nannapeg
  • Score: 10

10:32pm Tue 10 Jun 14

CapitaBackHander says...

GracesDad wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote:
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on".

To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
It wasn't an assumption. I just clearly have more knowledge than you.
How can it be a waste of resources? They are in full communication at all times AND the very fact that children see fireman will clearly lead to discussion but I am pretty sure the fireman would have spoken to children.
[quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!![/p][/quote]It wasn't an assumption. I just clearly have more knowledge than you. How can it be a waste of resources? They are in full communication at all times AND the very fact that children see fireman will clearly lead to discussion but I am pretty sure the fireman would have spoken to children. CapitaBackHander
  • Score: -1

11:10pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Mr Tickle says...

Why the negative comments?? I accept that people's immediate perception is that this type of activity for a firefighter or any public service is wrong....but like others have said, it is an education and the children will have a positive image of the fire service with this. WELL DONE to Paul and his family!

What do you want the fire officers to do all day? Sit in the station and wait for a call? I suppose they will not be allowed to train or go for a jog next!
Why the negative comments?? I accept that people's immediate perception is that this type of activity for a firefighter or any public service is wrong....but like others have said, it is an education and the children will have a positive image of the fire service with this. WELL DONE to Paul and his family! What do you want the fire officers to do all day? Sit in the station and wait for a call? I suppose they will not be allowed to train or go for a jog next! Mr Tickle
  • Score: 4

9:25am Wed 11 Jun 14

Thefonzerella says...

OMG some people are SO MISERABLE! In a world full of war, rape and so much sadness and nastiness it's nice to read such a goofy cheeseball story so let's spread a little joy people?! Well done you two - and I am sure the fire dept did not put any lives at risk during the course of this marriage proposal - stop being such kill joys!! However you sure that fireman is 47?! Looks older to me!
OMG some people are SO MISERABLE! In a world full of war, rape and so much sadness and nastiness it's nice to read such a goofy cheeseball story so let's spread a little joy people?! Well done you two - and I am sure the fire dept did not put any lives at risk during the course of this marriage proposal - stop being such kill joys!! However you sure that fireman is 47?! Looks older to me! Thefonzerella
  • Score: 9

9:38am Wed 11 Jun 14

GracesDad says...

Steven Seagull wrote:
GracesDad wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote:
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on".

To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?
Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.
[quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!![/p][/quote]You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?[/p][/quote]Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me. GracesDad
  • Score: 4

10:18am Wed 11 Jun 14

Steven Seagull says...

GracesDad wrote:
Steven Seagull wrote:
GracesDad wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote:
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on".

To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?
Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.
Fair enough.

But you're still a bellend.
[quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!![/p][/quote]You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?[/p][/quote]Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.[/p][/quote]Fair enough. But you're still a bellend. Steven Seagull
  • Score: 2

10:36am Wed 11 Jun 14

GracesDad says...

Steven Seagull wrote:
GracesDad wrote:
Steven Seagull wrote:
GracesDad wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote:
Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape!
Hope s enjoys the day.
To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you.
Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on".

To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?
Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.
Fair enough.

But you're still a bellend.
OK Mr.Keyboard Warrior.
[quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!![/p][/quote]You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?[/p][/quote]Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.[/p][/quote]Fair enough. But you're still a bellend.[/p][/quote]OK Mr.Keyboard Warrior. GracesDad
  • Score: 2

12:25pm Wed 11 Jun 14

We'll win the next one says...

Good luck to him.
Good luck to him. We'll win the next one
  • Score: 1

12:26pm Wed 11 Jun 14

We'll win the next one says...

GracesDad wrote:
Steven Seagull wrote:
GracesDad wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?
Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.
As you are to everyone else.
[quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!![/p][/quote]You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?[/p][/quote]Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.[/p][/quote]As you are to everyone else. We'll win the next one
  • Score: -4

12:52pm Wed 11 Jun 14

GracesDad says...

We'll win the next one wrote:
GracesDad wrote:
Steven Seagull wrote:
GracesDad wrote:
CapitaBackHander wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.
There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!!
You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?
Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.
As you are to everyone else.
So why are you speaking to me then?
[quote][p][bold]We'll win the next one[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Steven Seagull[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GracesDad[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: Well done, took you long enough to find your balls again after the 1st escape! Hope s enjoys the day. To those prats above. The fire service will have provided an educational visit to the children and probably did more in that day than you did in a week. Just think if one parent takes a smoke alarm and it saves lives then again they have done more than you. Be bitter but just don't post.[/p][/quote]There is no mention that the firecrew were there on official business. In fatc, I quote " I heard the sirens outside and I wondered what was going on". To assume makes an **** of you and me....but in this case it's just you!![/p][/quote]You're actually quite a bellend aren't you?[/p][/quote]Your opinion on my comments is utterly irrelevant to me.[/p][/quote]As you are to everyone else.[/p][/quote]So why are you speaking to me then? GracesDad
  • Score: 3

7:03pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Thelma 15 says...

Well to all you negative bitter Darwen people the Fire Service never fails to serve the Community and on that fabulously exciting day they served a local Community Primary school with fun and laughter which in the process made it memorable for 400+ children and staff.
In 2014 communication can happen anywhere they were still only a shout away!!!!!!!

Congratulations to a very nice local family.
Well to all you negative bitter Darwen people the Fire Service never fails to serve the Community and on that fabulously exciting day they served a local Community Primary school with fun and laughter which in the process made it memorable for 400+ children and staff. In 2014 communication can happen anywhere they were still only a shout away!!!!!!! Congratulations to a very nice local family. Thelma 15
  • Score: 7

12:27pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Northernstar42 says...

Wow!! So many negative comments and for no good reason.
Who cares if they are finally getting married after 12 years, at least they are doing it.
A waste of tax payers money? Nah, I thought it was very romantic, not what I would choose for myself but Heyho.
I hope they have not been upset by the trolls who posted on here, some people are just negative and need to be avoided.
Good luck to the fireman and his fiancé, long may they be happy
Wow!! So many negative comments and for no good reason. Who cares if they are finally getting married after 12 years, at least they are doing it. A waste of tax payers money? Nah, I thought it was very romantic, not what I would choose for myself but Heyho. I hope they have not been upset by the trolls who posted on here, some people are just negative and need to be avoided. Good luck to the fireman and his fiancé, long may they be happy Northernstar42
  • Score: 3

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