News Archive: June 2009

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Saturday, 27 June 2009

Junior Whip appeal target reached!

To donate to this appeal to allow us to move the Blackpool Pleasure Beach Junior Whip to Dreamland, please click here

On 13 June, we announced the acquisition of the Junior Whip ride from Pleasure Beach Blackpool. We also stated that we had a shortfall of 632.50 and appealed for contributions towards this. Two weeks later and the target has been reached.

Chair of The Dreamland Trust, Nick Laister, states: "I am extremely pleased that we have not only reached our target but we have done it in the remarkable time of under two weeks. On behalf of all of the trustees, can I thank everybody who has made a contribution, however big and small. These contributions have made this small but important part of our proposals a reality and we genuinely could not have done it without you. This also means that we can continue to have the confidence to search out other similar opportunities knowing that we have such strong support behind us."

The surplus will be used by the Trust to fund future ride acquisitions or for other emergency funding required to deliver the new Dreamland Margate. To view our current donations total since the Scenic Railway fire last year, click here.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Dreamland Trust welcomes new trustees
The trustees of The Dreamland Trust held a meeting in Margate on Saturday 20 June. The meeting discussed numerous items, including progress towards incorporation of the Trust, the grant funding applications and ongoing engagement with supporters and the local community.

The most important item on the agenda was to welcome three new trustees to the Trust: local accountant Andrew Cannon, musician and artist Neil Sparkes and the UK's leading authority on cinema architecture, Richard Gray. More details on the new trustees can be found on our newly updated Dreamland Trust page. It is likely that further trustees will be added over the coming weeks as the Trust prepares itself for delivering a new Dreamland.

Above: New trustees Neil Sparkes (left) and Richard Gray.
Junior Whip now in storage
The Junior Whip from Pleasure Beach Blackpool is now safely in the hands of The Dreamland Trust alongside the larger Whip ride acquired last year, having been removed from the Pleasure Beach on Monday 22 June.

Nick Laister was at the Pleasure Beach on the Monday and Susan Marsh supervised the arrival of the ride in Margate the following day. Dave Collard managed the unloading of the ride, helped by Scott Butler.

At the time of writing, the current appeal for funds to cover the transport costs of the ride has reached 520, only 112.50 short of the target.

Photograph: themagiceye

The Isle of Thanet Gazette reported the Junior Whip acquisition in its 19 June edition.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Dreamland Trust agrees acquisition of Blackpool Junior Whip
Following on from its 2008 acquisition of the Whip at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, The Dreamland Trust is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire the Junior Whip, the popular Beaver Creek ride that operated at the Pleasure Beach until the end of the 2008 season. This is the last surviving completely original junior whip ride in the United Kingdom. (There is some information on this ride, which has been known as the Fairy Whip and, more recently, Griffin's Magic Dragons, on themagiceye and the official Pleasure Beach website).

Although terms have been agreed and the ride will be moved into storage by the Trust over the next few days, the Trust currently has to find 632.50. We are therefore formally launching an appeal to see if we can quickly raise this amount.

The Junior Whip pictured at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in 2008. Photograph: Nick Laister
So how can we acquire such a rare ride for such a small sum?

It's all thanks to our supporters and colleagues:

- The cost of acquisition from Blackpool Pleasure Beach has been generously donated by a Campaign supporter - more news on our benefactor soon!

- The staff at BPB are helping out by loading the ride onto the lorry for us.

- Transport company Ainsworth & Martin is moving the ride for us, and are doing so at a great price.

- Thanet District Council is helping out with unloading the lorry at its destination.

Dreamland Trust chair, Nick Laister comments: "It is great news that we will be able to operate two classic whip rides at Dreamland Margate, now that we have concluded our discussions with the Pleasure Beach. Campaign members made it possible for us to acquire the world's last 'circular' Water Chute back in 2007 and we need your help again. This acquisition would not have been possible without the help of one very generous campaign member, plus the help and support of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Thanet District Council. Although this acquisition will now definitely go ahead - the trustees will personally guarantee the shortfall - we do now need to recover the 632.50 to pay the transport company. Any contributions towards this will be very gratefully received."

Details of how to donate can be found on our special donations page. We will regularly update you on the total raised from this appeal here on the News page.

Dreamland in Amusement Today

The proposed heritage amusement park has made the news in Amusement Today magazine, a leading industry journal. Download article.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Urban Panel backs Dreamland
As previously reported, the English Heritage and CABE urban panel, which visited Margate in March, has now released its report on the town and Dreamland has been identified as the single most important project for the town. The Save Dreamland Campaign is now exclusively making the report available, which can be viewed here.

The report starts its coverage of Dreamland with a summary of the site visit, where Dreamland Trust chair Nick Laister set out the Trust's vision for Dreamland from the Arlington Tower looking down on the site. The report states:

"...the stage was set for Dreamland. As the Panel saw, this site has been reduced, by the passage of time and the failure of enterprises both commercial and municipal, to little more than an opportunity, albeit a great one. 

"The sad state of the closed cinema and the fire damaged Scenic Railway is exacerbated by the empty car park and failed shopping at Arlington Square.  However, the panel was very pleased to have the chance to see this all from the air high on the 19th floor of Arlington House.  There the enthusiastic advocacy of the Dreamland Trust representative was infectious and convincing and the rather astonishing (when viewed from ground level) claim that 15 fairground rides may be accommodated on only half the site, was much easier to comprehend and believe.  The Panel was impressed that the local authority has both taken steps to protect the listed structure of the ride and to encourage development which will build upon the still firmly established image derived from the impressive peak of activity at Dreamland."

The Panel's conclusions make for very interesting reading, as they single out Dreamland as the priority scheme for the town:

"In choosing which of the many schemes to prioritise, the Panel had no doubts.  Dreamland is blessed with assets of the highest quality and national importance, a nationally known (remembered) name, all the space that is needed, a dedicated Trust, with a collection of historic fairground rides and a vision which the Panel thought wholly apposite.  Accordingly Trust, Partnership and authority were urged to turn all necessary attention to the re-emergence of Dreamland."

The Panel also believed that there is a very good case for funding for the project and recommended that it moves forward as a matter of urgency:

"National funding streams of relevance exist and, although the Panel has no lien on them, members thought there was very good case for some funds coming to Margate and being directed to Dreamland...So the Panel urged that the vision of Dreamland re-opening as the first and nationally unique heritage fairground be promoted with urgency and drive and without unnecessary burdens.  Similarly, the Panel saw no merit in delaying the scheme because the grander development package for the site (which suddenly looks very dated) cannot now be delivered.  New housing may be a long time coming and yet this need not hamper successful delivery of new Dreamland.  The remainder of the site can be brought forward, with minimal investment, as an events space.  Panel members envisaged a near future in which Dreamland is functioning and attracting new visitors as well as entertaining and pleasing existing ones.  That can be much enhanced by attracting to the new, large events space circuses, markets, small festivals and so on, with obvious concomitant benefits.  The Panel was also confident that such a degree of activity would constitute the critical mass which would provide the context for a successful re-use of the cinema."

In concluding, the Panel even suggested that other projects should be abandoned or deferred to allow for Dreamland to move forward:

"Indeed Panel members were so convinced that this is a clear first development priority that it strongly urged that all necessary funds be directed to that purpose even where other, generally laudable, objectives would have to be abandoned or, at least, deferred as a result."

Dreamland Trust chair Nick Laister comments: "We are obviously delighted with the conclusions of the Urban Panel. We are very pleased that they singled out Dreamland as Margate's priority project and that they have recognised its national significance as well as its importance as a critical local regeneration project. We hope that these conclusions will be taken into account by the organisations currently assessing grant funding applications to bring this priority project to fruition."

Click here to download the report in full.

The report was covered by the Isle of Thanet Gazette, noting the focus on Dreamland.

In other news, Nick Laister and Susan Marsh represented the Dreamland Trust at a Dreamland Client Group meeting at the offices of the Prince's Regeneration Trust in London today. Representatives of the Margate Renewal Partnership, Thanet District Council and Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company were also present. The main subject of discussion was the ongoing liaison with the funding bodies and partners in providing additional information.

Click here for the latest news

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