News Archive: March 2009

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Sunday, 29 March 2009

The national press takes an interest in the Save Dreamland Campaign's proposals for a heritage amusement park at Dreamland, with an article in today's Sunday Express. Journalist Iain Aitch weaves a nostalgic tale about the park, his childhood and the classic rides that have been acquired and includes an interview with Dreamland Trust chair Nick Laister and National Fairground Archive director Vanessa Toulmin. Read...

Aitch also writes about Dreamland in his blog, We're British, Innit.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

A letter about the Dreamland proposals features in the Saturday Observer. Some controversial comments about Dreamland and the Save Dreamland Campaign on the Thanet Strife blog. Dreamland has also recently been covered in Leisure Architecture and Bignews Margate.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Dreamland Park Masterplan updated

The Park Masterplan for the new amusement park of thrilling classic rides at Dreamland has now been finalised ready for submission to Heritage Lottery Fund and DCMS for the Heritage Lottery and Sea Change grant applications. The changes follow the well-attended public event on 15 March at which literally hundreds of comments were received by the three partners in the Dreamland project, The Dreamland Trust, Margate Renewal Partnership and Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company.

The main changes are to rearrange the rides to create an improved layout, the introduction of a more formal garden area to reflect the gardens that used to be located to the west of the Scenic Railway and the addition of the Dreamland Miniature Railway. Click on the Masterplan to view a larger version on our Dreamland Heritage Amusement Park pages.

Those who did not go the successful I Dream of Dreamland event in Margate on 15 March can now see what they missed in a special video on YouTube. The video shows footage of the event, and a look at some of the film that was shown. View video...

Finally, Dreamland has been extensively covered in the media over the past few days. Newsparcs and Central-Parks, two French web portals about amusement parks, have posted information about the rebirth of Dreamland. It has also been featured in the local press. The Thanet Extra of 20 March covered the launch party and other Dreamland news.

The Isle of Thanet Gazette of 20 March also reported on the new Dreamland proposals.

Saturday 21 March 2009

Our latest plans online!

Plans and drawings of the thrilling new theme park proposed at Dreamland, Margate are now available to view exclusively on the Save Dreamland Campaign website. The Plans were launched at a outstandingly successful event in Margate on 15 March. Our new Heritage Amusement Park Pages now feature layout plans, drawings showing what the park will look like, plans and elevations of buildings and background information on the project, the park and the rides already acquired. This will be a truly unique project. More...

We have also made available for download the Powerpoint slideshow presentation that was running along one side of the venue throughout the event.

Above: The rebuilt Scenic Railway station by Jean-Marc Toussaint

KentOnline features an interview with Dreamland Trust chairman Nick Laister about the proposals. You can also hear Nick talking about the proposals on KMFM here. They then followed up the launch event with a further article here, which includes a gallery of photographs taken on the night.

The 17 March edition of the Thanet Times reported on the party held in Margate to mark the unveiling of the Dreamland plans, along with some correspondence from readers.

The Thanet Adscene of 19 March also reported on the party.

The unveiling was also covered in the Leisure Opportunities magazine, InterPark Magazine, the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts and the much-loved Eastcliff Richard blog.

The Thanet Extra of 13 March reported the listing of the menagerie cages.

The 21 March edition of Your Thanet reports on the news that the BBC series The Apprentice could be visiting Margate with contestants being given the challenge of rebranding the town. The plans for Dreamland get a mention. This news was also covered by on 18 March, including a quote from one of the key partners on the Dreamland project, Derek Harding of the Margate Renewal Partnership.

Nick Laister, Sarah Vickery and Susan Marsh spent all day yesterday at the new offices of the Princes Regeneration Trust for a Dreamland Client Group meeting. At this meeting, architects Levitt Bernstein presented their final drawings and report and Locum Consulting also presented their final version of the business plan. Other matters discussed included the content of the grant funding applications, arrangements for taking the project forward to implementation stage and a discussion on how The Dreamland Trust can ensure that it is fully prepared for the big challenge ahead. There will be more news on the latter point in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, journalist Nick Spurrier has written an article on Dreamland and the Campaign in the journal of the The Institute of Engineering and Technology. The article is called 'Creating a Scene'. Read...

Monday, 16 March 2009

'I Dream of Dreamland' event exceeds expectations

Plans for a brand new amusement park at Dreamland were unveiled last night at a hugely successful event in Margate town centre. Over 400 people attended the evening party, at which the Dreamland Trust, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company and Margate Renewal Partnership revealed their plans for a spectacular new heritage theme park on the Dreamland site. In addition to the plans and drawings of what will be a 'world's first' attraction, there were various information boards, two separate film shows of Dreamland footage, models of various Dreamland rides, free drinks from the bar, funfair food, usherettes and a Dreamland-themed disco.

Nick Laister, leader of the Save Dreamland campaign and chairman of the Dreamland Trust said: "We were overwhelmed by the number of people who attended, which exceeded our expectations. It was great to meet so many people, some who had travelled down from the north of England and the Midlands just for this event. We were really grateful for all the feedback on the exciting plans, and I am pleased to say that everything I heard that evening was extremely positive. This gives us the confidence that we can press ahead with finalising the plans ready for the grant submissions next month."

Nick Laister, Jean-Marc Toussaint and Sarah Vickery at the 'I Dream of Dreamland' event on 15 March 2009. Photograph: Justin Garvanovic. Click for a larger version.
All three trustees of the Dreamland Trust attended, along with Paris-based theme park designer Jean-Marc Toussaint, Derek Harding of the Margate Renewal Partnership, Roland Jeffery and Rosie Fraser of the Prince's Regeneration Trust and Mark Lewis and Matthew Poulter from Levitt Bernstein Architects.

Nick adds: "It was a fantastic party atmosphere all evening. There was a real mix of people, young and old, and phenomenal goodwill. Everyone seemed to recognise that this project has a USP that should capture the public's imagination."

“I was slightly overwhelmed by the crowds,” admits Sarah Vickery. “We’ve been doing this for long enough to know that the people of Margate want Dreamland back, but to see so many people turn out was immensely satisfying.”

“Back when this event was first mooted, I wanted it to be like a little slice of Dreamland with sights, sounds and smells that might transport you there, if only for a moment. And we wanted people to enjoy themselves, so that we can start to put the sad and desolate Dreamland era behind us and start creating new happy memories. The atmosphere on the night was amazing, lots of people commented on it, and I’ve been told today that it was like being back at the park, so I’m really pleased.”

Nick Laister concludes: "I would like to thank Sarah for all her hard work in turning this from what could have easily been a standard public consultation event into a truly inspirational evening. And thanks also to Mick Tomlinson for providing the music for the evening and for putting his Dreamland models on display."

Those who couldn't make it to the event should keep checking back to the News page this week, as we will be uploading the plans and drawings to the Heritage Amusement Park pages. In the meantime, here are some photographs of the event, courtesy of Justin Garvanovic of the European Coaster Club.


There was much press coverage on the day of the event, including an interview with Sarah Vickery on the BBC News website and with Nick Laister in Your Thanet. The Best Western Hotels website also carried the news today and there is a full-page article written by Nick Laister in the latest edition of First Drop magazine, published by the European Coaster Club. Planning Resource also covered the event.

A day-long stakeholders consultation event on the Dreamland proposals was held today at the Margate Media Centre. The Dreamland Trust, MTCRC and Margate Renewal Partnership presented the plans to representatives of numerous organisations from Thanet and the region. This was followed by workshops on the Amusement Park and Cinema, a film show and a discussion on the key points that came out of the day.

Right: Nick Laister, Susan Marsh and Jean-Marc Toussaint at the Dreamland Stakeholders event this afternoon. Click on the image for a larger version.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The Saturday Observer featured an article about today's unveiling of plans for the Dreamland heritage amusement park. The article includes a number of quotes from Campaign leader Nick Laister on the market for this unique attraction. The news is also featured in Kent on Sunday.

The event is at 7.30pm, West Coast Bar, King Street, Margate.

The Campaign's proposals for a heritage amusement park made the front page in Friday's Isle of Thanet Gazette. This article covers the high profile support that the Dreamland project is now receiving, including HRH Prince Charles and Margate-born artist Tracey Emin.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Exclusive first look!

In the build-up to Sunday's unveiling of our plans for a heritage amusement park at Dreamland, we bring you an exclusive first look at one of the artist's impressions of Dreamland, giving a tantalising glimpse at what the 12m theme park could look like when it opens in 2012. A masterplan for the park has been developed by Levitt Bernstein Architects with Paris-based theme park designer Jean-Marc Toussaint. The drawing below is by Jean-Marc and shows the rebuilt River Caves and Water Chute. See several more artist's impressions, the new masterplan and much more at Sunday's event. 7.30pm, West Coast Bar, King Street, Margate. Admission free.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Sarah Vickery appeared on BBC Newsroom South East yesterday evening from Dreamland explaining the plans for the heritage amusement park which are to be unveiled on Sunday.

Today's Your Thanet newspaper featured a preview of Sunday's event, with several quotes from Dreamland Trust chairman Nick Laister. Nick provided more information about the heritage amusement park proposals, the applications for grant funding and the timetable for the construction of the park. View report.

And check back to this News page tomorrow evening for an exclusive sneak preview of Sunday's unveiling with an artist's impression of what Dreamland will look like when the Heritage Amusement Park opens in 2011/2012.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The heritage amusement park was featured extensively on Breakfast with John Warnett and Julia George on BBC Radio Kent this morning. At 7am John Warnett interviewed Graham Cooke who was reporting live from the park. Just after the 8am news, the Dreamland Trust's Sarah Vickery appeared as a studio guest. Sarah talked about the restoration of the Scenic Railway, the costs of the project and gave some teasers about what people can expect to see when the plans are unveiled on Sunday. If you missed this, you can here it for a few days on BBC Radio Kent's website (Graham Cooke's report is at 0:01:53 and Sarah is on at approximately 1:02:40). Alternatively, download both reports as an mp3 from the Save Dreamland website. Note that the pre-recorded part of Graham's 7am report is repeated in the 8am slot.

The news is also covered on the main BBC News website, based around an interview with Dreamland Trust chairman Nick Laister.

News of the unveiling of the heritage amusement park plans this weekend was also covered today in the Thanet Times.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Sarah Vickery will be interviewed live on BBC Radio Kent at 8am tomorrow morning, with news of the weekend's launch event and our heritage amusement park proposals. She will be interviewed again by Radio Kent in the build-up to the event at 4.15pm on Sunday. She is also being interviewed for BBC Newsroom South East tomorrow at the park.

Friday, 6 March 2009

'I Dream of Dreamland' event - more details

We are formally unveiling our plans for the brand new Dreamland Amusement Park at a special free public event on the evening of Sunday 15th March at the West Coast Bar, King Street, Margate. The layout plans and images have been assembled over the past few months by a team led by The Dreamland Trust/Save Dreamland Campaign, site owners the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company and the Margate Renewal Partnership. Sunday will be the first time these plans have been seen in public. In addition to unveiling the plans, we will be presenting old footage of Dreamland and the Scenic Railway through the years, playing a seriously good Dreamland soundtrack and having an all-round fantastic time. The Dreamland of tomorrow will echo the thrilling theme parks of the past, and this is your chance to climb on board, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride! Click on the invite below for a larger PDF version and put the event into your diary now!

If you would like to print out this poster and put it on the wall at your place of work, right click the image below and click 'Print Target'. Alternatively, save the PDF file onto your PC by right clicking the image and click 'Save Target As'. Thank you for your help.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Urban Panel comes to Dreamland

The last two days have seen some of the most intensive meetings so far in the bid to bring an exciting new 21st Century tourist attraction to Margate's Dreamland.
On Wednesday 4 March, the Government's Urban Panel visited Margate. The Urban Panel brings together the expertise of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and English Heritage to help Local Authorities, development agencies and others to engage in major regeneration of historic towns and cities. Nick Laister and Sarah Vickery represented The Dreamland Trust at a special evening dinner with the Urban Panel at No6 Brasserie in Margate. Also in attendance at the dinner were Richard Simmons (Chief Executive of CABE), Les Sparks OBE (Chair of Urban Panel), Dr Andrew Brown (Regional Director, English Heritage) and Cllr Sandy Ezekiel (Leader, Thanet District Council). That same evening, Susan Marsh was busy representing the Dreamland Trust at a meeting of the Margate Round Table, at which she gave a presentation on the work of the Trust/Save Dreamland Campaign.
On the morning of Thursday 5 March, Nick Laister attended the Urban Panel's site visit to Dreamland. Nick presented the Trust's vision for the site and answered questions from Panel members. He then joined Susan Marsh and Sarah Vickery for a Meeting of the Trustees of the Dreamland Trust at the Walpole Bay Hotel in Cliftonville.
At midday, the Dreamland Client Group (The Dreamland Trust, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, Margate Renewal Partnership) and their advisers (The Prince's Regeneration Trust, Levitt Bernstein Architects, Locum Consulting) presented their proposals for a Heritage Amusement Park at Dreamland to the Board of the Margate Renewal Partnership (MRP) at the Margate Media Centre.

The support of the Board is essential if the project is to be delivered, as it requires 'buy-in' from the key stakeholders in the town and south east region. Roland Jeffery of the Prince's Regeneration Trust opened the presentation and he was followed by Nick Laister, who set out the Dreamland Trust's vision for a "thrilling theme park from the past", with a slideshow showing why the proposal will be a unique visitor attraction of international importance. Nick was followed by short presentations on the business plan from David Geddes of Locum Consulting and the masterplan/architectural designs by Mark Lewis of Levitt Bernstein Architects. The MRP Board is chaired by Pam Alexander (Chief Executive of SEEDA). Other Board members present included Victoria Pomery (Project Director, Turner Contemporary); Dr Andrew Brown (Planning & Development Director for South East, English Heritage) and Richard Samuel (Chief Executive, Thanet District Council).

The Board presentation was followed by a meeting of the Dreamland Client Group, at which further work was carried out on the amusement park proposals and further planning of the big public launch event of the Dreamland Heritage Amusement Park in Margate on Sunday 15 March at 7.30pm. The Trust hopes to see a big turnout for what is expected to be a lively evening.

Dreamland cages in the news

News of the listing of Sanger's animal cages at Dreamland has made it into a number of news and blog sites, including This is Kent, Nemesis Republic Blog and Thanetonline.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Dreamland cages listing entry

We now have a copy of the official listing schedule for the "remains of menagerie enclosures and cages at Dreamland". Download (PDF)...

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