News: December 2003

In  January 2003 the owner of Dreamland, Jimmy Godden, announced the closure of Dreamland. The park is to be redeveloped as "leisure boxes, some retail and a supermarket". Joyland Books will provide updates on the campaign to save Dreamland and its internationally-important Scenic Railway ride.

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Sunday, 7 December 2003

Photographs of last Sunday's fire at Dreamland, which completely destroyed the waltzer ride, have been added to the website. Click here to view them.

Saturday, 6 December 2003

Campaign leader Nick Laister gave a talk at the European Coaster Club's Annual General Meeting at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Nick updated members on progress with the campaign, as well as giving a more general talk about Britain's amusement park heritage. Nick also gave a short presentation on recent events at Shipley Glen Pleasure Grounds. Nick thanked the European Coaster Club for its continued help and support with the Save Dreamland Campaign, stating that "the campaign would not be where it is today without the help of the ECC and its members."

Wednesday, 3 December 2003

On 25 November, we reported that carved wooden dragons heads, identical to those on the Dreamland Scenic Railway, were being auctioned in Huntingdon on Sunday. The auction was reportedly very busy, with a lot of interest in the Scenic Dragons, with the Dragons finally fetching 260 (+7.5% buyers premium). 

We are pleased to report that the Dragons have gone to a member of the Save Dreamland Campaign, Paul Freeman of Welling. Paul says: "At the moment they are in my hallway as I haven't really thought about what I'm going to do with them. I'm probably not going with the auctioneers idea of 'making a nice bench or something out of them'. They will get displayed somewhere in the house though."

He adds that the Dragons appear to be in their original colour: "The paint is fairly thin and where it has rubbed through no other colours are visible. The blue/green/yellow paint on the feathers seems to be a more recent addition along with some of the white and gold." 


Above: The Dragon Heads, but from which scenic railway?

Paul continues: "Looking at the pictures on American Midway I think they may be from a rear car as they look as if they may have something attached to the top of the heads, perhaps cushioning for the brakeman to lean on? Also they do not have a hole for the higher of the 2 crossbars seen on most front cars. They appear to have been sawed off the cars roughly level with the floor line as they include only the top part of the spiral like section."

Paul is currently trying to decide whether to strip and restore them or just leave them as they are, but if anyone can shed any light on which Scenic Railway they originate from, he would be very pleased to hear from you. You can contact Paul via the Save Dreamland Campaign, or post to the Forum.

Monday, 1 December 2003

Local Campaign Coordinator Sarah Vickery is interviewed live on BBC Radio Kent's Barbara Sturgeon Show about yesterdays fire at the Park. "We obviously don't yet know what caused the blaze," Sarah points out. "There may not be any foul play involved - but this does highlight how vulnerable the site is to vandals and arson attacks," she says. "The campaign would like to see the site much more effectively secured. Our primary concern is ensuring the protection of the Scenic Railway."