News: May 2008

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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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Saturday, 24 May 2008

After much planning and preparation, the Dreamcoaster build is underway at the Substation. There's been lots of interest from the public and some wonderful acts of generosity in terms of donations. "The structure is just starting to take shape," reports Dave Collard.

Details of the Dreamcoaster event are being aired on both Invicta FM and KMFM radio stations over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Click on the thumbnails below for larger versions.

Campaign member Rhyannon Richardson making the Dreamcoaster's station sign

Thanks to generous donation we have plenty of timber!

Dave Collard hard at work, helped out by Ronnie, who spent most of the day assisting with the build

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Nick Laister and Susan Marsh of the Save Dreamland Campaign were in London on Tuesday to meet Toby Hunter and Ross Stewart, representatives of Dreamland owner the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company. Discussions focussed on the the proposed heritage amusement park. Also in attendance was Derek Harding (Chief Executive of the Margate Renewal Partnership), Nick Dermott (of Thanet District Council) and heritage consultant Jason Wood, who is advising on the procurement of funding for the amusement park.

Tuesday's Thanet Times featured news of the forthcoming Dreamcoaster event in Margate.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

The Thanet Extra on 16 May covered the forthcoming Dreamcoaster exhibition.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The Secretary of campaign group SAVE Britain's Heritage has added his support to the Dreamcoaster exhibition, announced earlier this week:

The heroic efforts of the Save Dreamland Campaign to publicise, preserve and now rebuild this magnificent structure should act as an inspiration to other groups around the country who are bravely fighting to halt the destruction of our precious architectural heritage. SAVE wishes the Dreamcoaster event every success and hopes that it will further galvanise local and national support for the swift reconstruction of this iconic attraction.

William Palin
SAVE Britain's Heritage


Scroll down for more details of the event.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

We now have available a printable A4 poster advertising the much anticipated Dreamcoaster event. We are encouraging all supporters of this campaign to download and print out a colour copy of the poster (or two, or three...) and pin them up somewhere. Right click here and select the option 'Save Target As' to download the poster.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

More details of the Save Dreamland Campaign's forthcoming Dreamcoaster event have been announced. The event is an exhibition of Dreamland films and memorabilia to be held at Margate's Substation Project Space (just off Margate High Street), preceded by a week-long building of a wooden structure based on the Scenic Railway. Everybody is welcome to join in and spend as much time as they wish on the project.

In addition to the coaster build and exhibition, there will be talks from Nick Evans (author Dreamland Remembered) and Iain Aitch (journalist and author of A Fete Worse Than Death).

Here is the full programme:

Click on each of the images above to download high resolution PDFs. Spread the word!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Nick Laister and Susan Marsh of the Save Dreamland Campaign, along with heritage consultant Jason Woods and author John Walton, met with Professor Vanessa Toulmin (Director of the National Fairground Archive) at Sheffield University today to discuss the first grant application for the proposed Dreamland Heritage Amusement Park. It is planned to submit the application later this year.

The Twentieth Century Society has issued an updated press release on the Scenic Railway fire, which inaccurately states that Thanet Council has served a Repairs Notice. The release can be viewed here. This release follows an earlier release which had incorrectly stated that only 20% of the Scenic Railway's structure survived.

The Thanet Adscene of 8 May contained some news on the repairs to the Scenic Railway.

The Thanet Extra of 9 May reported on the upgrading of the Dreamland Cinema's statutory listing (although the report inaccurately suggests that the Scenic Railway is II* listed):. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


Following the recent arson attack on the Scenic Railway, the Save Dreamland Campaign has teamed up with Margate-based Limbo Arts to stage a community exhibition celebrating Dreamland’s heritage and inviting the public to share their memories of the park.

The public are being invited to come along to the Substation at Bilton Square (off Margate High Street) to help build the Dream Coaster, a huge wooden model made out of donated scrap timber and based on the layout of the Scenic Railway. The build will be supervised by a core team of workers, and helpers can pop in for an hour, stay for the day or work on the coaster all week!

Our Dream Coaster will then be the focal point of a week-long exhibition when visitors will be invited to share their memories, hopes and dreams. We are also asking the public to loan Dreamland or Scenic memorabilia for display and dig out old film footage of the park that we will convert to DVD and make into a montage film. A programme of talks and workshops is also being planned.

“The Scenic Railway and Dreamland are synonymous with Margate; the coaster is much loved by the community and residents and visitors of all ages have memories of the park,” said Paul Hazelton, Project Manager of Limbo Arts. “The recent fire has created a sense of loss in the town and galvanised the local community: people feel they want to do something but feel powerless. The Substation once powered Dreamland and we hope the Dream Coaster will now empower those individuals.”

Save Dreamland Campaign Coordinator Sarah Vickery added: "We want people to delve into their sheds or garages for scrap pieces of wood and bring them along to turn into our own version of the famous ride.

"So many people have been affected by the fire, we thought one way of tapping into that momentum was to give everyone the chance of joining in a community art project like this.

"The actual size of the Dream Coaster, and the amount of detail, will depend, of course, on how much timber we are given but the inside of the Substation is 16 metres long, so it has to fit inside that space."

We need the public’s help in a number of ways…

  1. Donations of scrap wood, especially long lengths to be used for the main structure. Also nails, screws and wood glue. Please ring Paul Hazelton, Project Manager of Limbo, on 078 1278 0984 to arrange either pick up or delivery time.
  2. Loan of Dreamland/Scenic Railway memorabilia for display. All items can be deposited at the Shell Grotto, Margate, open daily, 10am to 5pm.
  3. Loan of old film footage, which again can be handed in at the Grotto.

So get these dates into your diary:

Build week: 23-30 May
Exhibition: 31 May – 7 June
The Substation, Bilton Square, off High Street, Margate

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