Facebook post reunites proposal couple with once-in-a-lifetime photo

A Castleford couple were reunited with a once-in-a-lifetime photo after a Facebook appeal to identify them.

Friday, 30th August 2019, 9:40 am
Updated Friday, 30th August 2019, 10:40 am

Ryan Watcham was planning to propose to his partner, Cath Stewardson, on the beach at King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth, on Wednesday, August 21.

He had asked Tom Forrester, a lifeguard on the beach, to take a photo of the moment and share it with him by text.

But following the proposal, Tom discovered he had made a mistake in writing down Ryan’s number, and instead launched a Facebook appeal to identify the couple.

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His post has since been shared more than 1,100 times.

Cath, who lives in Castleford, said: “My fiancée had to get permission to use the beach, as we had one of our dogs with us, so whilst he was doing that he asked the lifeguard Tom to take the photos, but unfortunately Tom took his phone number down wrong.

“He launched a Facebook appeal that evening, but all he knew was that we were from the Leeds area - he didn’t even know our names.

“Thankfully an old colleague of mine spotted the photo and wondered if it might be me, as she knew that particular beach was special to Ryan and me.

The proposal was caught on camera - but then lost!

“Ryan worked in Newcastle for a year when we first together so I’d visit at weekends and the beach was a spot that we spent many happy afternoons.”

Tom said he had been determined to find the couple in the photo, whose engagement fell exactly three years after he had proposed to his own girlfriend on a beach in San Francisco.

He said: “Ryan asked me to take a photo because he wanted to give it to Cath as a wedding present.

“My wife said to put it on Facebook and hopefully it would make its way down the country.

“It feels amazing, it’s his big day and I wouldn’t have stopped until they had those photos.

“If it happened 10 or 15 years ago the chances are that would have just been lost, but that’s the power of social media.”