Couple get engaged on Great Yarmouth’s iconic snails

Kirsty Cook and Thomas Smith pose for this souvenir snap moments after Thomas asked his girlfriend o

Kirsty Cook and Thomas Smith pose for this souvenir snap moments after Thomas asked his girlfriend of six years to marry him. - Credit: Archant

An unsuspecting nurse was shell-shocked when her partner sprung what is believed to be the first marriage proposal aboard Great Yarmouth's iconic snails.

Kirsty Cook had ridden the seaside favourites dozens of times and was taken by surprise when her partner of six years Thomas Smith suddenly produced a sparkly ring.

With her family - who were in on the plot - waiting nearby the 29-year-old, was at first reluctant to take to the slopes and bemused at her partner's insistence.

But after a few moments it all became clear when Mr Smith, 28, popped the question.

'We had just had a game of mini-golf and then he suggested a ride on the snails,' Miss Cook said.

'But I was umming and ahhing about going on at all because when I went on them last year I was with my five year old niece so I had an excuse.

'My mum and dad were there and they knew it was coming. He was getting a bit nervous about it and he got the ring out just when you go behind some screening. He said: 'You know I love you right?' and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

Most Read

'But he didn't put the ring on my finger in case it got lost. And he knew we would get a picture which would be a nice memory. I was shocked to start with and then I was quite emotional because of the reason he had done it.'

The couple, from Atterby in Lincolnshire, visit Yarmouth every year either on their own or with extended family. They both love the town and hold the snails in high affection because they were a holiday highlight during both their childhoods.

Kirsty has particularly fond memories of taking to the clackety tracks with her grandfather.

She said; 'I have been to Great Yarmouth every year since I was little and my partner went a lot with his family too. That is why he said it was a special place for us both.'

The pair, both nurses who met on the wards of Lincoln County Hospital, plan to marry in February.

Joyland manager Michael Cole said he was delighted the snails had played such a leading role in the couple's romantic day.

'The snails are iconic,' he said. 'Millions of people have had great fun on them. But this is the first proposal I have heard of. Plenty of people come on their wedding day. I think it is absolutely lovely. You feel proud that you are giving people something that they cherish and enjoy. There are a lot of families who have personal memories of the snails and Joyland.'

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter