Flat Holm’s warden has told how he found love against the odds – despite holding down possibly the most isolating job in South Wales.
Matthew Lipton launched his search for love in the Echo two years ago after being appointed warden of the 54-acre island in the middle of the Severn Estuary, five miles from Cardiff.
Matthew, 27, told how he fell for 28-year-old Sophia Johnston, one of the island’s volunteers, and wooed her with a romantic evening – in a foghorn station.
He said: “I’ve been looking for love for the last couple of years but living on a small island, a boat ride away from the mainland, is not exactly easy. But every six months, we get six new volunteers onto the island and in November Sophia joined us. She was quite pleased to get a volunteering position on the island.
“Apparently she had been giving me signals for quite a while before I picked up on them. I’m a bit slow like that.
“Not that dating is very easy when you live on an island but we’ve tried. Our first date was at the foghorn station. Sophia is a retained firefighter and is really into mechanics and things so she thought it was a great place to go. We had a few bottles of wine, romantic lighting, that kind of thing. We’ve been together since then and it’s going really well.”
Matthew volunteered on the island before applying for the post of warden. He knew it would be tough to find love but he’s relieved to have found a woman who “gets” him.
He said: “Sophia is great fun. We get along very well.”
Sophia said she loved her first date at the foghorn station, even though most women would probably prefer to go to the cinema.
“My dad was a mechanic so it was great for me to go in there and have a look around at all the machines,” she said. “I didn’t come to the island looking for love. I wanted a change and saw an advert in the newspaper and thought, ‘Why not?’. I love it here. It’s nice to be away from the stresses of everyday life. Finding love has been a real bonus.”