THERE was love in the air in Dollar as a visiting couple got engaged – with a little help from the locals.

Earlier this month, Jamie Walker went on bended knee to his partner Julie McBretny and popped the question outside the village post office.

Thankfully, she said yes, but the now groom-to-be admits he couldn't have done it without help from the community.

He asked staff in the post office to dress the window with a specially-made poster and a Will You Marry Me? balloon, while florist Lauren Farrell from The Flower Room was on hand to provide the bouquets.

The couple were then treated to a special impromptu performance from the Dollar Academy Pipe Band, who played them Scotland the Brave and Will Ye No Come Back Again.

Jamie, 40, said the whole affair has "been a bit crazy" but he was delighted to be able to propose in the village he loves so much.

Though originally from Blackpool, he spent a lot of his childhood north of the border visiting his aunt.

Jamie told the Advertiser: "There was only one place to do it and that's Dollar. For me, it's like a second home.

"I used to visit about eight times a year when I was young – it's such a beautiful place. Julie's been there a few times now and she loves it.

"Of course, we'd love to come back and get married in Dollar, but we'll just have to wait and see. We'd probably have to hire a coach or two to get the families up to Scotland."

The couple first met in 1998 and though they remained out of touch for a few years they later became friends.

Then, around about six and a half years ago, they started seeing each other and can now look forward to spending the rest of their lives together.

Jamie said: "She's tried to get rid of me a few times since, but I wouldn't have it.

"When you've got something like this, something that works, you don't let it go. She's my rock."

He added: "The support we've had from the Dollar community has been great. And we're grateful to those who helped: the girls in post office, Lauren the florist, as well as Craig Stewart and the Dollar Pipe Band.

"Only a few people knew exactly when I was planning to propose and they were all sworn to secrecy. I didn't really want the whole town knowing, just in case she said no."

Jamie's new fiancee Julie, 50, admitted she had her suspicions, but wasn't sure whether he was going to suggest moving to the area.

She said: "We had talked about getting married before but as we were walking around the town I thought he was going to say he'd found a house in Dollar and we should go for it.

"When we stopped at the window, I couldn't see it for looking at it and then it clicked. I turned around to ask him if he was serious, saw he was on bended knee and I said yes straight away.

"He's full of surprises, so he is. But he's going to have to find a way to top this now."

Post Office staff Margaret McAndrew and Jackie Varty were among those in on the act as they arranged the eye-catching window display for the big moment.

Postmistress Margaret said: "Jamie asked for the balloons and posters to be set up at around 5.30pm so that he would 'just happen' to be walking by at 6pm.

"Well, we got into the season of things and we added a few extras like a bottle of champagne and some engagement cards. It looked very nice, if I do say so myself.

"He didn't even know we were doing the other bits, but we were just happy to be a part of it.

"And, of course, a lot of other people walking past had seen it and so the next day we put up a big banner saying: 'She said yes!' Just in case anyone was in doubt."