Romantic seafront ride has plenty of sparkle after proposal
A Lincolnshire couple are all smiles after they got engaged on a giant snail at a seafront rollercoaster ride for children. Thomas Smith proposed on the Snails in Great Yarmouth’s Joyland Park – but his bride-to-be was left beaming rather than shell-shocked.
Their romantic trip on the clanking track’s ups and downs, twists and turns through brightly painted scenery was captured by the fun park photographer who snapped the happy couple showing off her diamond “forever” ring as their snail chariot came to a halt.
The pair are both nurses at Lincoln County Hospital and are big fans of the timeless historic ride which dates back to 1949. Although geared towards children the ride is enjoyed by all ages.
Kirsty, 29, said: “I have been coming to Great Yarmouth every year since I was a toddler – and going on the Snails is always a must.
“I knew we were going to get engaged sometime this year, because we bought the ring together back in February,” she explained.
But it was still a surprise when it happened at the family fun park.
“He asked at the start of the ride – and of course I said ‘yes.’ But he is quite shy so he waited until the snail went behind a hedge so no-one could see. I had a bigger smile than usual for the rest of the ride,” she added.
But Thomas, 28, did not try to put the ring on during the rollercoaster journey in case it was dropped and lost.
Kirsty was more than happy that their special moment happened in Joyland rather than an exotic location, adding: “I would rather it took place at somewhere that means something to both of us, rather than a random place you may never go back to.
“It was very sentimental. We both love Great Yarmouth because of our many family holidays and there is just so much to do.”
The pair, who live at Atterby near Market Rasen, have set a date in February next year for their wedding.
Joyland general manager Michael Cole said: “This is fantastic. I have been here 40 years and have never known anyone to get engaged on the Snails.
“We have had newlyweds, hen parties. new-born babies, celebrities like Cilla Black and Morecambe and Wise, and people in their 90s on the ride - but this is a first.
“We are thrilled this couple chose the Snails as the place to get engaged because it is their special place which holds so many happy childhood memories,” said Mr Cole.
Earlier in the season a bride in full wedding dress and her new husband asked Joyland if they could ride on the Snails on their wedding day after having their reception at the Town Hall.
“We were still doing test runs ahead of the season, but we opened up especially and it made their day,” he added.
Great Yarmouth’s historic rides, including the 1930s wooden roller coaster, attract fairground heritage fans as well as family visitors.
They are among the attractions being promoted by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District (BID) which is using a £2.4m raised from local levy payers to support events – including a new air show for 2017 – and extra marketing to draw in even more tourists and trippers for the benefit of the local economy.
Chairman Gareth Brown said: “People love the historic rides at Great Yarmouth, but also the new attractions which keep the resort fresh and appealing to people of all ages.
“We are thrilled that Kirsty and Thomas hold Great Yarmouth as a special place in their hearts and we look forward to welcoming them back as a married couple.”