News Archive: August 2009

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Saturday, 22 August 2009

Isle Magazine looks forward to Dreamland
The Dreamland Trust's Sarah Vickery looks forward to the return of Margate's best loved attraction in the Autumn 2009 edition of the Isle of Thanet listings magazine, Isle. In the article, called 'Meet me tonight in Dreamland', Sarah provides a glimpse of what Dreamland might be like when it opens as planned in 2011:

"Dreamland will be an exciting, exhilarating, intoxicating experience; a place packed with charisma and charm; with Ď1001 Thrillsí as the old guide books once claimed."

The article also provides a background to the recent work of the Trust and its partners in delivering this new attraction.

Click here to download the article in PDF format, or here to view the entire issue.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Independent: Closure of Dreamland has contributed to Margate's High Street woes
Saturday's Independent newspaper featured a lengthy article on the sharp decline in the fortunes of Margate town centre. According to figures released recently by the Local Data Company (LDC), Margate was found to have Britain's worst rate of shop closures this year, with one in four shops closing.

Whilst the opening of Westwood Cross out-of-town shopping centre was given as the principal reason for the decline, the article stated: "The lack of parking, higher bills, the effect of internet shopping, and the closure of the Dreamland amusement park are other factors that crop up as contributing to the current struggles."

The article points to positive developments in the town, with the planned reopening of Dreamland specifically referred to: "Together with the construction of the Turner Contemporary gallery on the harbour and an attempt to attract higher quality shops to the old part of the town, the projects form part of a plan to relaunch Margate through the arts. Dreamland is also set to reopen by 2012 to help attract day visitors back from London."

Read the full article...

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Brief update

Nick Laister, Sarah Vickery and Susan Marsh met with Heritage Lottery Fund at their offices in London today to discuss the recent grant award of £384,500. This follows a Dreamland Client Group meeting in Margate on 12 August at which Sarah and Susan represented the Dreamland Trust.

Below is a message from the organisers of a really exciting festival this weekend in Margate:

Dippers & Dunkers : Margate's Festival of New Variety & Burlesque 21-23 August 2009

The Dippers & Dunkers Festival takes its title from the locals that would make welcome and 'dip and dunk' their sea-bathing visitors in Margate's salty waters. The 'blue flag' beaches of Margate have always had a classless, ageless and universal appeal and the Dippers & Dunkers Festival offers a wide range of entertainment just right for you to 'dip' into. Whether you are a budding Street Magician, Tight-Rope Walker, Fan-Dancer, or fancy your chances as a Male Burlesque Artist - we can provide you with the workshop. All ages and abilities welcome!

If you would prefer to 'dunk' into some fantastic New Variety & Burlesque performances we can offer you the sensational 'Sassy Seaside Show', or for a late club-night, Balkan-Bar-Burlesque beckons.

The incredible 1950s Dreamland 'Sideshow Illusions', make a return to Margate, fully restored and more thrilling than ever - just 'roll-up, roll-up' on the day for free fantastic fun.

'Skin Deep' the touring tattoo exhibition from the National Maritime Museum, arrives in town.  We invite you to share your body art and help us create our own Thanet Tattoo.

Educational talks, historical talks and the fantastic BoHo Market are all just waiting for you so come along and join us.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Dreamland "born of enthusiasm and pride": The Observer
As the result of the £4m Dreamland funding application to Sea Change is awaited, national newspaper The Observer presents a major feature on the effectiveness of using cultural projects as the basis for the regeneration of seaside resorts around Britain, with a significant focus on Margate.

Whilst very critical of a number of projects around the UK's coast, Dreamland receives strong support from writer Rachel Cooke. Whilst discussing various seaside projects with the owner of one big success story (Littlehampton's East Beach Cafe), the proposed amusement park of historic rides and restored cinema at Dreamland is seen as an example of a project born in the history and culture of the resort itself, rather than "parachuting stuff in", as another interviewee describes some cultural projects. The article states:

We talk about the Dreamland project in Margate: local enthusiasts have been buying up heritage pleasure rides - most recently, Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Junior Whip - and are now raising money so that Dreamland can be reopened as the world's first amusement park of historic rides (the Deco cinema will also be restored, as a museum of street style). Last month the Dreamland Trust was awarded £384,500 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for its development plans; as I write, they await a decision on a £4m application to Sea Change. We both love this idea, born of local enthusiasm and pride. It seems to belong to Margate already - a privilege its new gallery will have to earn.

Perhaps it all comes down to what you call culture. I can think of few things lovelier than looking at a tempestuous Turner sky in the place where he painted it. But I also think that old wooden rollercoasters count as culture, too - not to mention fish and chips and mushy peas and Tizer. These things are part of who we are. They make our lives better, just as art does, and theatre, and music. To combine them, then, is very heaven. For our battered seaside resorts, all 250 of them, this must surely be the future.

Read article in full...

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Press coverage of the Heritage Lottery announcement continues in: Banmoco, Planning Resource (skip the ducks!), Teletext, Big News Margate, Blog, amongst others. The news has even hit the message boards at the birthplace of seaside amusement parks and roller coasters, Coney Island!

Also of interest is Tracey Emin's memories of her childhood in Margate in last weekend's Independent.

Wednesday, 5 June 2009

Attractions Management magazine features a news item on the Dreamland lottery funding announcement. Read article...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

BBC News Channel is coming to Margate tomorrow. The digital channel is investigating how Margate is looking to boost its tourist trade and reinvent itself. It's part of a week-long series called Coastal Britain looking at issues and stories around the UK's coast. Sarah Vickery of the Dreamland Trust will be interviewed live from Dreamland shortly after 3.15pm tomorrow afternoon.

The recent Heritage Lottery award is reported on Ultimate Rollercoaster. An innacurate reworking of the Trust's press release appears on the Best Western Hotels website.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Following much press coverage over the past few days on the Heritage Lottery award of £385,000 to The Dreamland Trust for development work on the world's first amusement park of thrilling historic rides, yesterday's Kent on Saturday featured a short article on the regeneration implications of the project. The article states:

"If it all goes ahead, the new attraction could pull in around £8.5 million into thelocal economy...If the park gets up and running, visitor numbers are estimated to reach around 700,000 each year, with roughly 350,000 paying to go on one or more ride. This is likely to generate about £3m everyyear from ticket sales. The £12m park operation will employ 17 full-time staff and about 100 part-time employees."

A highly evocative history of Dreamland and the Scenic Railway appears in the August edition of Best of British Magazine. The article traces the history of the park from its early years, through its time as Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park, to the more recent efforts to save the park. Click here to download the article in PDF format (5MB). The magazine is available at most large newsagents.

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