The Rides (updated 27 March 2009)
A large number of British seaside amusement parks have closed down over the past few years. Most of Britain's amusement park heritage outside of Blackpool and Great Yarmouth would have been lost by the end of 2007 were it not for the Dreamland Trust and the Dreamland Heritage Amusement Park project. Most of the rides that will be featured in the Heritage Amusement Park have been 'rescued' from these amusement parks. The rides, which are some of the last remaining examples of their type in the world, are now in storage to enable them to be rebuilt as part of the proposed Heritage Amusement Park at Dreamland, Margate.
The first tranche of rides were acquired from Southport's defunct Pleasureland Amusement Park. Southport's Pleasureland is one of only a handful of seaside amusement parks in this country that still have original vintage amusement park rides. Rides such as the River Caves and Caterpillar date back to the 1920s. Sadly the park closed in 2006 and the rides were due to be bulldozed in June 2007 to make way for a new temporary fairground operator. Nick Laister of the Dreamland Trust negotiated with Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Sefton Council with a view to removing all the original rides to allow them to be placed in storage for use in the proposed Heritage Amusement Park. Thankfully these discussions resulted in the rides being 'donated' to the Dreamland project. The rides have been numbered and carefully dismantled, with photographs being taken at each step of the process to allow for the rides to be rebuilt in Margate. Rides have also been acquired from Ocean Beach Fun Fair at Rhyl and Pleasure Beach, Blackpool.
As rides are acquired for the project, they will be listed below, along with some information on their historic importance and photographs of the rides through the years. We are assembling information on each ride's history for potential use on information boards adjacent to each ride. If you have any information on each ride's history, please send it to us using the link on each page. The numbers correspond to the Park Masterplan.