News: April 2005

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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Thursday, 21 April 2005

The news that Dreamland is to reopen on 21 May 2005 - as announced on 12 April by the Save Dreamland Campaign - is the front page news in the Thanet Extra for 22 April, with the headline: Dreamland 'to open in weeks'.

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

The Save Dreamland Campaign can now reveal that Dreamland will open on 21 May for the 2005 season, operated by Harry Ayers. We are also pleased to say that the Scenic Railway will also be in operation throughout the season. Maintenance work is currently underway, including annual timber replacement and some repainting. As we have already reported, the Scenic will be joined by several major white knuckle thrill rides plus some smaller children's and family rides. Harry Ayers will shortly be promoting the park with a poster advertising campaign. So spread the word to as many people as possible: Dreamland is back in business!

 

Saturday, 9 April 2005

A round-up of recent Save Dreamland Campaign news:

Friday 1 April saw massive coverage of the Campaign's vision for a new Dreamland over a double page spread in the Isle of Thanet Gazette. With the headline: "French designer reveals new vision at fun park", the article states that "Dreamland could be restored to a major national attraction if a plan by a top French theme park designer is put into action, campaigners claim."

The article goes on to state:

"Paris-based Jean-Marc Toussaint has drawn up an ambitious design to return the theme park to its former glory after visiting the site in 2000. A Southend amusement park owner is said to be prepared to sink 10 million into the project."

The article quotes Save Dreamland Campaign leader, Nick Laister, who told the Gazette:

"We are very happy that Jean-Marc Toussaint contacted us in February with these plans. It shows the council what can be made of the theme park as opposed to houses and shops...There have been other park operators interested in the site. One that has publicly come forward is the owner of Adventure Island in Southend, Philip Miller. He is very keen to place a bid for the land should it be sold.

"The future of the park is very much in the hands of the council as the site cannot be redeveloped without planning permission from them."

The Gazette also talked to Philip Miller, who told the newspaper that he would be keen to turn the fortunes of Dreamland around:

"Southend was very much like Margate in the 1970s...A lot of people in Southend have said that since the amusement park became one of the top ten attractions the town has become more vibrant. In many ways that sort of thing would be good to see for Margate. If the park is turned into houses that will be the end of Margate as a resort.

"Running an amusement park is a very tough business. Amusement land in itself is not worth very much and must have enough people coming in to cover your overheads. A lot of businesses have gone under. As commercial housing development the land is worth an awful lot more."

The article also quotes Essex-based showman Harry Ayers, who will introduce rides to Dreamland for the summer season. He said:

"At the moment we are cleaning the site and getting it ready for opening for the summer. Towards the end of May we should have the right weather in place and when we open we will give it our best shot."

The new Concept Plan is also covered in the new issue of First Drop. This is available from the European Coaster Club.

In other news, work has now started on preparing the Scenic Railway for the 2005 season. New timber has arrived on site and the ride is also getting a new lick of paint. The final line-up of Dreamland for the 2005 season is not fully confirmed yet, but we know that the park will feature Dodgems, Waltzer, Mega Spin, Super Bob, Orbiter, Drop Tower, Top Buzz and the Log Coaster from Gulliver's Land. An advert in trade newspaper World's Fair this week advertises ground to let for four large machines. The advert suggests that the park will be open between 21 May and 5 September.