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Joyland in Great Yarmouth celebrates its 70th birthday

PUBLISHED: 10:05 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:05 16 April 2019

Kirsty Friday and her daughter Darcie, two, ride the ever popular Joyland Snails at Great Yarmouth which are 70-years-old on Good Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Kirsty Friday and her daughter Darcie, two, ride the ever popular Joyland Snails at Great Yarmouth which are 70-years-old on Good Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

It is not a creature often associated with romance.

Danielle Hunter, and her daughter, Marcy Reynolds, four, ride the ever popular Joyland Snails at Great Yarmouth which are 70-years-old on Good Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDanielle Hunter, and her daughter, Marcy Reynolds, four, ride the ever popular Joyland Snails at Great Yarmouth which are 70-years-old on Good Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But a Great Yarmouth variety has been the location of first dates, engagements and wedding parties.

And this week the snails at iconic amusement park Joyland are celebrating their 70th birthday.

The park first opened on Good Friday in 1949 and its famous snails have been thrilling visitors ever since, as they trundle past frogs, ponds and gnomes.

Joyland was thronged yesterday as people enjoyed the start of the Easter holidays.

Director, Michael Cole, in one of the Joyland Snails at Great Yarmouth which are 70-years-old on Good Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDirector, Michael Cole, in one of the Joyland Snails at Great Yarmouth which are 70-years-old on Good Friday. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sophie Barrett and Dulcie Humphrey were there with their children Ava Barrett, seven, and six-year-old Francis Humphrey.

They take them every year as a birthday treat.

“It's proper old-world magic,” Ms Barrett said.

“If I come to Great Yarmouth, I come to Joyland,” Ms Humphrey said.

From left, Dulcie Humphrey and her son Francis, six; with Sophie Barrett, and her daughter Ava, seven; at Great Yarmouth's Joyland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFrom left, Dulcie Humphrey and her son Francis, six; with Sophie Barrett, and her daughter Ava, seven; at Great Yarmouth's Joyland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ms Barrett said her daughter loves the snails.

“It is always the first and last thing they go on,” she said.

“It's quite nice being part of the heritage,” Ms Humphrey said.

Danielle Hunter, from Lowestoft, had just taken her four-year-old daughter Marcy Reynolds on the snails.

Danielle Hunter, and her daughter, Marcy Reynolds, four, at Great Yarmouth's Joyland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDanielle Hunter, and her daughter, Marcy Reynolds, four, at Great Yarmouth's Joyland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

They also go to Joyland every year.

“She just loves it,” Ms Hunter said.

“We always get her photo and put it on the fridge every year.”

Lucy Brown and her three-year-old daughter Evie, from Leicestershire, were in Great Yarmouth for the weekend and it was the family's first time in Joyland.

Lucy Brown and her daughter, Evie, three, at Great Yarmouth's Joyland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYLucy Brown and her daughter, Evie, three, at Great Yarmouth's Joyland. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“I was reading about it and I saw that they are celebrating their 70th birthday,” Mrs Brown said.

Evie had already been on the snails twice and wanted to go on again.

Joyland director Michael Cole said the seafront park was the brainchild of his grandparents, engineer Horace Cole and his grandmother Daisy Wilson, who came from a travelling showman's family. After getting married they combined their talents to create the historic site.

Horace designed the snails and Tyrolean tubs, which were built at the family engineering works.

Joyland at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJoyland at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Cole said the park is organising a fundraising event in June to celebrate its birthday.

The plan is for celebrities to go on the rides as many times as possible in one day, with funds donated to charity.

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