News: May 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.
Monday, 30 May 2005
Sunday, 29 May 2005
Saturday, 28 May 2005
Dreamland opens for the 2005 season, on this sunny Bank Holiday weekend, and will now be open daily until 4 September. We hope to bring you pictures from new Dreamland shortly.
The opening of Dreamland will be featured on Sky News on Bank Holiday Monday. Save Dreamland Campaign Leader Nick Laister will be speaking live from Thorpe Park about the reopening of Dreamland and the opening of Thorpe Park's new ride, Rush, from 10am. Both Dreamland and Thorpe Park - the south east's two leading theme park attractions for 2005 - will be featured on Sky News throughout the day.
Saturday, 21 May 2005
Tuesday, 17 May 2005
Further to yesterday's report, the Save Dreamland Campaign has learnt that there will be 15 major rides at the park for the summer season. A new Junior Log Flume has arrived today and a 100ft family coaster will be delivered later this evening. Campaign Leader, Nick Laister, said:
"I have spoken to Mr Ayers again this evening and I am convinced that, regardless of what we have reported about next year, this summer is going to be a fantastic season for Dreamland. More new rides are arriving on-site as I write, the site is tidier than it has been for years and a lot of money has already been spent. I think visitors to Margate are going to be surprised about how different Dreamland looks this year."
The park will have a family theme park atmosphere, with costumed characters in the park and a massive £20,000 has already been spent on upgrading the Scenic Railway.
Monday, 16 May 2005
The man who will operate Dreamland for 2005, Harry Ayers, has told the Save Dreamland Campaign that he will not return next year. This news comes only a matter of days before the park's long-awaited reopening on 21 May. Mr Ayers said that he has been disappointed by a lack of support from the Council and the people of Margate, including members of the Save Dreamland Campaign, in helping to clear up the site. Mr Ayers has told the Campaign that he would "leave the park tomorrow" if he could.
Save Dreamland Campaign Leader, Nick Laister, spoke to Mr Ayers on Friday:
"This is very disappointing news from the person who is to open the park for the 2005 season, especially as the park hasn't even opened yet. Clearly, I cannot comment on the Council's support or lack of support, but I know there are people at the Council who were looking forward to the 2005 season as much as Campaign members.
"This is particularly disappointing because there is so much we could have done to help. Offers of help were made to Mr Ayers the first time we spoke several months ago, and repeated several times since. We could have organised a series of special days to get the park back into shape; I am sure that many of our members would have jumped at the chance to get involved in preparing Margate's biggest tourist attraction for the new season.
"We also offered to set up a special Dreamland website on this site, showing opening times, ride ticket prices and providing information about the park. This offer was also not accepted. Many people searching for details of Dreamland end up on the Save Dreamland website, and I get numerous telephone calls and emails from people asking me when the park is opening and how much ride tickets are. I think that people believe our site to be the official website. So it seemed obvious that we should provide this information on our website, but Mr Ayers has declined to provide us with details. This website attracts on average 10,500 visitors per day - that is a lot of potential park visitors! A real missed opportunity.
"In addition, the Save Dreamland Campaign has its own good media contacts, which I offered to get in touch with, to ensure that Dreamland's opening next week was a high profile media event, but Mr Ayers has decided not to avail himself of this offer either.
Finally, Margate's Shell Grotto will be featured on tomorrow evening's edition of Flog It (6pm, BBC2). Tell your friends, tune in, set the video and wonder at the beauty of the Grotto, the overwhelming enthusiasm of the presenter and the very scared interviewee (that's Local Save Dreamland Campaign Coordinator, Sarah Vickery). And the new Shell Grotto website also launches tomorrow at www.shellgrotto.co.uk.
Thursday, 12 May 2005
Wednesday, 11 May 2005
The Save Dreamland Campaign has now commenced formal consultation with Thanet District Council about the future of Dreamland, having recently submitted its vision for the site to the Council as part of the current Local Plan review. The Campaign will be asking the Council to retain a major amusement park on the site and protect the site's key heritage, most notably the Scenic Railway and Cinema. With the backing of many of the town's community and business organisations, interest from established theme park operators and the results of the Council's Margate Masterplan consultation, the Council does not have to accept anything less. Campaign Leader, Nick Laister, has also met with the new owners of the site, Waterbridge Group, to discuss the future of the park. Discussions on the future of Dreamland are likely to continue well into 2006, and the Save Dreamland Campaign will be an important participant.
Friday, 6 May 2005
The BBC's Video Nation now features a short, 2 minute, 55 second, film of Margate, featuring Dreamland. Film maker Martin McDonald laments the forthcoming closure of Dreamland and explains how the town could improve its image. The film - called simply 'Margate' - can be viewed from the BBC Video Nation website.
Thursday, 5 May 2005
The front page of today's Thanet Adscene carries a report on Dreamland.