A HOVIS fanatic from Hucknall certainly knows what side his bread is buttered on after proposing to his girlfriend in an old-fashioned bakery van sat outside the company’s factory in Watnall.
Groom-to-be Ashley Finney arranged a surprise site tour for him and his partner, Jenny, where he could propose, because he said they both ‘had a thing about Hovis’.
“We eat all Hovis stuff and we love the local factory,” said Ashley. “We pass it every day on the way to work and wave to say hello to it! It’s just one of those silly things we do.
“We’re proud Hovis is on our doorstep. Every time we see the vans in the street or on the motorway we do that trucker thing where you pull the horn!
“Or we’ll play games where we see who is the first person to spot one of the lorries!”
Hovis site secretary Helen Clarke said they did not normally hold tours but they made an exception on this special occasion because they thought what Ashley wanted to do was ‘just so lovely’.
Ashley (35) said the tour was ‘fantastic’ and something he would remember forever.
“All the staff were in on it so they were all smiling at me and giving me the thumbs up. It was really wonderful,” he added.
“Everyone was really proud of what they did there. It was like a family. People had been there for 25 years or longer.”
Staff hid the ring in the driver’s side of the van ready for Ashley to pop the question after they had been shown around.
“It took her about a minute to realise what was happening,” said Ashley. “It had all been so many surprises, one on top of the other.
“I was shaking and thinking just say yes!”
His fiance Jenny added: “It was fabulous, I didn’t suspect a thing! I had no idea. It was a wonderful day.”
The 37-year-old nurse — who wants to get married in Sherwood Forest with Ashley turning up on horseback — said she is looking at having a hog roast at the reception so would be giving Hovis a shout to supply the cobs.
“I wouldn’t have anybody else!” she said.
Staff at the bakery presented the couple with a bouquet of flowers and two bags of Hovis goodies.