News: May 2004

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.

Click here for the latest news

Friday, 28 May 2004

The Save Dreamland Campaign today received a press release from Respect - The Unity Coalition regarding another planned protest against the closure of Dreamland. The release is shown here in full:

Save Dreamland Beach Party


Protestors against the closure of Margate’s Dreamland amusement park are planning a “beach party demonstration” on Saturday 29th May at 12.30 pm.
The protest has been called by the new RESPECT political party which is running candidates in elections for the European Parliament this June.
Norman Thomas, who lives in Thanet, is one of the RESPECT candidates. He said: “We don’t want Dreamland, one of this area’s historic tourist attractions replaced with some new housing development.
“This area needs investment in things which will both attract visitors and make life better for the people who live here.
“It seems only fitting that we show our feelings about the closure of Dreamland by having a beach party. This area needs more fun not less.”  
RESPECT is a new political party which will be standing in elections for the European Parliament on 10th June. The new party say that they have formed to provide a real alternative for the millions of people feel disenfranchised by the major political parties.
More information on RESPECT can be found at For further information on the Dreamland protest please contact Christine Tongue on 01843 604 633 or Jon Flaig on 07789961744.

Please note that this protest has been organised by a political party. Despite its name, the beach party has no connection whatsoever with the Save Dreamland Campaign.

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

According to today's Thanet Times, Thanet District Council is looking for a new site for a fairground. (We know of a rather good site; it is in a prime position, very popular, and has a very old roller coaster in it!)

In other news the Campaign has heard rumours that Dreamland will be opening for July and August. Presumably this is related to the recent adverts placed in trade newspaper World's Fair by the site's owner. As soon as we hear more we will of course tell you!

Finally, we are pleased to say that the Save Dreamland Forum is now up and running again on a brand new server. Although it looks the same, it is faster than it was before. It is a great place to meet other campaign members and discuss our favourite seaside fun park. Just click on register, sign up, and join in the fun! Click here to go straight to the Forum.


Sunday, 23 May 2004

The Save Dreamland Forum is temporarily closed for maintenance. It should be operating again tomorrow (24 May). We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Monday 3 May 2004

Campaign Leader Nick Laister was a guest on Good Morning Kent with Dominic King on BBC Radio Kent. Nick discussed the future of the Scenic Railway, noting that it would now take approximately two months to undertake all the necessary work before the ride could be opened. Nick also explained to Dominic that Margate had suffered a very poor Easter, with visitor numbers well down on previous years. But on a positive note he said that operators are lining up to take over the park and invest in its long-term future as a major regional tourist attraction, and the Campaign was hopeful that the Council would back the retention of this important asset.

Moving to television, BBC South East News carried a report later in the day on the lack of visitors to Margate, showing a deserted beach and reporting that local traders say business is down by up to 25%, a fall they blame on the closure of Dreamland.

Seafront trader Derek Pegden commented that Dreamland used to bring in coachloads of visitors; this year Margate hasn't seen any coaches since Easter.

Local Campaign Co-ordinator Sarah Vickery was interviewed in the Shell Grotto. "Dreamland is essential for Margate," she said. "We need it to attract visitors and for our future economic prosperity."

The piece reported on Philip Miller's interest in acquiring and investing in the site and concluded that while Thanet District Council have yet to decide what the future holds for site it will need a major attraction to bring visitors back to the town.

Saturday 1 May 2004

Could Dreamland be opening this year? An advert appears in today's trade newspaper, World's Fair. The advert states:

"Dreamland Site Margate and Folkestone Seafront Site: Both these prime sites are available to rent anytime. Whitsun till first week in September for a fair or circus during 2004 season, including catering and games, but no arcades. Enquiries 01303 245245."

With thanks to Kevin and Veronica James for sending this news item.