Joyland in Great Yarmouth celebrates its 70th birthday
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
It is not a creature often associated with romance.
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.
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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.
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'It's proper old-world magic,' Ms Barrett said.
'If I come to Great Yarmouth, I come to Joyland,' Ms Humphrey said.
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.
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.
'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.
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.