Couple mark golden wedding recreating Yarmouth honeymoon rollercoaster ride

Peter and Christine Draper on a rollercoaster in Yarmouth

Peter and Christine Draper on a rollercoaster on Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, as they marked their 50 years together by revisiting one of the favourite parts of their honeymoon half a century earlier. - Credit: PA

A couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary by recreating one of the favourite parts of their honeymoon - a ride on Great Yarmouth's famous rollercoaster.

Peter and Christine Draper marked their 50 years together by hurtling around the rollercoaster at Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach, just as they had half a century earlier.

The rollercoaster, and other rides, look fantastic at night and "change the entire experience", says

The rollercoaster at Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

In 1971, the couple chose a Hemsby honeymoon after tying the knot in Essex, where the pair are from.

They decided to mark their golden wedding anniversary by going back on the wooden rollercoaster - for the first time since their honeymoon during a day out with their children and grandchildren.

Peter and Christine Draper after going on a rollercoaster in Yarmouth

Peter and Christine Draper after going on a rollercoaster on Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, as they marked their 50 years together by revisiting one of the favourite parts of their honeymoon half a century earlier. - Credit: PA

Mr Draper, 69, said: "We loved going on it. We always thought it was faster at the back than the front but that isn't the case.


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"We did think about moving here but we ended up emigrating to Australia. We just love the atmosphere in Great Yarmouth.

"We thought we might spend our golden wedding in Jamaica, but Great Yarmouth comes a close second."

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Mrs Draper, 66, added: "It was fun. I was a bit nervous before I went on it but once the ride started, it was fine. I would go on it again."

The couple have moved back to England from Australia and now visit Yarmouth at least once a year.

Jamie Jones, director of Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, said: "The day brought back a lot of nostalgia for them. It is a really exciting day for them, and I am glad they have enjoyed their day here."

Directors, brothers Jamie, left, and Aaron Jones, at the roller coaster ready to welcome the public

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach directors Jamie, left, and Aaron Jones. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The Pleasure Beach's roller coaster is a Grade II listed building and one of only a handful of traditional wooden rollercoasters still in operation in the UK.

Built in France in 1928, it featured in the Colonial Exhibition in Paris.

The Pleasure Beach bought the huge Scenic Railway, built specially for the exhibition by Herr Erich Heidrich, a German expert in the field, and the ride was dismantled and brought to Yarmouth.

The roller coaster (with its mock effect rock which was replaced in 1968 with painted mountain scene

Flashback to how the roller coaster looked in the 1960s. - Credit: Archant Library

It was rebuilt at the Pleasure Beach, opening in 1932 and delighting thrill-seekers ever since.

In 1982 the band Madness filmed part of their video for their number one single House of Fun on the rollercoaster.

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