We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversry by recreating photo on top of Blackpool Pleaure Beach's Big One

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A couple have toasted the “ride of their lives” in the same spot they did 25 years ago – at the top of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Big One.

Mark Cook, 61, and Carole Noel, 63, married at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach Resort in May 1999 and made the unusual decision to toast their nuptials at the 235 feet above sea level, at the top of one of the UK’s tallest roller coasters.

 For their silver wedding anniversary, the adventure-loving couple wanted to recreate their iconic wedding photo in the exact same spot, so travelled from their home in Ware, Hertfordshire back to Blackpool.

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 After writing to Pleasure Beach to request special permission, they were able to pop the champagne at the top of the second tallest rollercoaster in the UK, 25 years after they said “I do.”

Mark and Carole Cook celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big One and (inset) back in 1999Mark and Carole Cook celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big One and (inset) back in 1999
Mark and Carole Cook celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big One and (inset) back in 1999 | Blackpool Gazette

 Mark said: “The Pleasure Beach made our wedding a day we will never forget and now, 25 years on, has made our silver wedding anniversary just as amazing.

“We now have a unique pair of photos which express the fun and happiness we have enjoyed on all of our visits to the Pleasure Beach over a quarter of a century.”

Mark and Carol’s story

Mark and Carole were introduced by a mutual friend in 1994. Mark said: “Early on in our relationship, I asked Carole what her idea of a good day out was. She said "a theme park" and looking back on it, I think our eventual fate may have been sealed at that moment.”

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Mark and Carole Cook celebrate their marriage with a ride on Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big One back in 1999Mark and Carole Cook celebrate their marriage with a ride on Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big One back in 1999
Mark and Carole Cook celebrate their marriage with a ride on Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big One back in 1999 | Blackpool Pleasure Beach

 Mark was a big fan of Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, even being one of the first people to ride the Big One rollercoaster on its opening day in May 1994. He took Carole for the first time in 1995 and she immediately shared his love for the attraction. The pair went on to visit together many times during their relationship, even being filmed for the BBC’s Pleasure Beach series as being among the first riders of the Ice Blast (then known as PlayStation: The Ride) in 1997.

 By 1999, Mark and Carole were engaged to be married. He said: “It was actually Carole who came up with the idea of getting married at the Pleasure Beach. I would not have had the nerve to suggest it!

 “The more we thought about it, the more logical, and more importantly fun, the idea seemed. We'd already had many happy times together at the Pleasure Beach and a wedding would be the happiest of all.”

 The ceremony took place in Pleasure Beach Resort’s Paradise Room in May 1999 and the photograph at the top of the Big One was planned – but the weather had other ideas. Due to high winds, the rollercoaster was closed all day, but then-operations manager Keith Allen made special provisions so that it could run once and the newlyweds could get their photos.

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The train was stopped at the top of the lift hill and the couple toasted their marriage with champagne, before plunging 235 feet on the rollercoaster’s record-breaking drop.

 Later, instead of a disco and dancing, Mark and Carole handed out ride tickets to all their guests and held their wedding reception on the Pleasure Beach, using more than 240 ride tickets between the wedding party.

 For the couple’s first 20 years of marriage they had an uninterrupted record of returning to the Pleasure Beach every year on their wedding anniversary, which was only broken in recent years due to Covid, family bereavements and Mark’s ill health.

However, their tradition resumed in 2022 and they returned to Pleasure Beach to celebrate both their wedding anniversary and Mark’s 60th birthday.

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 This year, with their silver wedding anniversary fast approaching, Mark wrote a letter to Pleasure Beach CEO, Amanda Thompson OBE, to request a special favour: to repeat their wedding photograph at the top of the Big One.

 The Pleasure Beach was happy to oblige, and although the weather was not dissimilar to that rainy day 25 years ago, the team was able to make Mark and Carole’s anniversary wish a reality.

What Amanda Thompson said

Amanda Thompson OBE, CEO of Pleasure Beach Resort, said: “I was truly touched to receive Mark’s letter and it’s always so wonderful to hear how much Pleasure Beach means to people.

 “Just like in 1999 the weather was doing its best to work against us, but we’re never one to shy away from a challenge and our team pulled out all the stops to make sure Mark and Carole got their unique anniversary gift. Congratulations Mark and Carole - here’s to many more years of happiness and rollercoasters!”

 Mark added: “So many memories, all of them happy and all of them cherished. The Pleasure Beach has been a magical place for us both for more than 25 years.”

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