News: July 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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Friday, 18 July 2003

A brand new book about the history of Dreamland has been announced. Dreamland Remembered, written by local author and journalist Nick Evans, contains a nostalgic collection of more than 200 illustrations - many not seen publicly in living memory - charting the park's attractions over the years, from the renowned Scenic Railway to the Big Wheel, along with Beanfeast outings and the birth of the Osuper cinema in the 1930s. It brings the story right up to date with the ongoing campaign to save this important symbol of the town.

Dreamland Remembered is released on 1 September 2003. Joyland Books is currently taking pre-orders for the book. Copies will be dispatched to those who pre-order it a few days before its official release. Click here for details.

Thursday, 17 July 2003

The new issue of Airtime, the magazine of the Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain (RCCGB), features a full-page report of the highly successful Save Dreamland Convention. The article concludes by explaining how members of the RCCGB can help save the Scenic Railway:

"Basically the Trust need to make the Scenic Railway financially viable this year, or it would cease operating...irrespective of what happens with the development plans. The Trust needs our support...Ride the Scenic Railway...spread the word about Dreamland and the Scenic railway, write to the media and, if you can, make a donation to the Scenic Railway Trust. Nick Laister, Sarah Vickery, the Trust and all the Scenic Railway staff are putting huge amounts of effort and dedication into saving the ride and running it this season. They need our help!"

The RCCGB will be at Dreamland on Saturday 19 July 2003 for their 'Save the Coaster Day'. Club members are paying £11 for the event, of which £10 is being donated to the Scenic Railway Trust. 

Saturday, 12 July 2003

First Drop, the magazine of the European Coaster Club, reports on progress with the Save Dreamland Campaign. Campaign Leader, Nick Laister, says:

"The Save Dreamland Campaign has been working on proposals for the future of Dreamland with one of Europe’s biggest theme park operators. This company operates parks across Europe, but Dreamland would be their first UK park. We have held a series of meetings with this operator and leaders of Thanet District Council, and the proposals have been very well received. We are very excited about these proposals, which will see Dreamland completely upgraded to bring it to the standard of this company’s other parks. Importantly, this operator has made a commitment to retain the 83-year-old Scenic Railway roller coaster as the park’s central attraction. The Council is very supportive of our proposals and is now working with us, but there is still a lot that can go wrong."

Laister adds:

"We now have a commitment from the Council that they do not want to see the site turned into a retail park and that they want to see the site remaining as a tourist attraction, which is a promising start. But there is still a long way to go and a lot depends on the forthcoming public consultation on the future of the site, which I would encourage all ECC members to get involved in if we want to save the Scenic Railway."

The magazine also features an excellent article by US club member Michael Horwood. The article states:

"Unfortunately, as a Club we can't buy Dreamland's Scenic Railway, lease it, move it, nor likely even patronize it enough to make a financial difference. But we can educate....Keep really strong tabs on 'inner workings' and where the final say actually resides, since too often decisions are already made and the so-called freedom to voice one's point of view is merely window dressing - democracy has only theoretically prevailed."


Friday, 11 July 2003

Save Dreamland car stickers are now available. If you are in Margate, drop into the Shell Grotto (signed from Margate town centre), and you can pick one up for free. If you can't get to Margate, just send an SAE to:

Save Dreamland Campaign
The Shell Grotto
Grotto Hill

and a sticker will be sent out to you.

Today's Thanet Extra reports on news of an exciting new white knuckle ride which has arrived at Dreamland for the summer season:

"The Move It white knuckle ride has been brought into the park from Newcastle and the operators believe it will be a firm favourite with visitors. Park spokesman David Bill said: 'This season Dreamland is highlighting its family fun attractions and some of our more gentle rides but there is always a place for another exciting ride and I am sure that Move It will win many fans.'"

Wednesday, 9 July 2003

Artist Simon Faithfull will be working with the Turner Centre over the summer. Using a palm-pilot, Simon will make drawings in and around the Dreamland site to mark its closing on 6th September 2003. 'Requiem for Dreamland' will attempt to register some of the pathos of a passing era. Simon will be discussing this piece at the Droit House on 21 August from 2 - 4pm. For more information log on to

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