News Archive: July 2010

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Monday, 27 July 2010

Naked ambition!
Former Scenic Railway brakeman and long-term Save Dreamland campaigner Dave Collard is embarking on another rollercoaster ride. But the difference is that this time he’ll be NAKED!

Dave will be taking part in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of people riding a rollercoaster naked, whilst also raising funds for charity.

The existing record is 32 people, and was set on Nemesis at Alton Towers back in 2004.

The attempt – involving 40 people - will be on the Green Scream rollercoaster at Adventure Island on Sunday 8th August. The aim is to raise awareness and funds for the Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation's Bosom Pals appeal.

This appeal hopes to raise £750,000 to bring state-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic equipment to the Hospital's breast care unit. In addition to providing two digital mammography machines, the appeal will also fund the latest x-ray and biopsy equipment, enhancements to scanning machines and an improved environment for patients.

“My target is to raise £300, and every couple of pounds pledged really helps,” says Dave. “I’m also hoping that one day in the not too distant future we’ll be able to stage a new record attempt on the rebuilt Scenic Railway!”

To support Dave please go to

Right: Man of mystery. Dave Collard reveals all in Southend in August!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Latest Dreamland Trust newsletter available for download

Issue 4 of the Dreamland Trust Newsletter is now available to download. This provides an update on work on the Dreamland Margate project. This was sent by email a few days ago to all those who have signed up for the Campaign. If you would like to get a copy of the newsletter before it appears on this website, please join our mailing list.

News of the American Coaster Enthusiasts' donation towards the repairs of the Scenic Railway was covered by thisiskent and Your Thanet.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Dreamland Trust acquires unique Big Wheel
The Dreamland Trust has acquired the famous Southsea Corbiére Wheel. Built in 1956, it operated initially at Coney Beach Amusement Park in Porthcawl before moving to Southsea's Clarence Pier Amusement Park, where it spent most of its life. It was acquired by Blackpool Illuminations Manager Richard Ryan in 2001, who restored it, and it then spent 2005 and 2006 operating at Southport's Pleasureland. Following the closure of Pleasureland, the ride went into storage in Blackpool.

Following three years of discussions between Richard Ryan and Dreamland Trust Chairman Nick Laister, the deal was finally done earlier this year. The inspection and transport of the ride was organised by Jonathan Bryant and Bob Preedy of the Dreamland Trust.

The wheel was designed by Henri Corbiére, a French engineer, and built by ARM (UK) LTD. The design was state of the art at the time. The design was probably the first to have 'spherical motion' i.e. the whole wheel revolves around its base as well as the normal vertical plane, such that the gondolas travel in a gentle spiral path describing a sphere through space. This concept required new thinking in respect to the design and construction of the wheel.

Above: The unique Corbiere Wheel pictured at Southport Pleasureland in 2005.
The Wheel made its way from Blackpool, via four lorries, and was delivered to Carter's Steam Fair's yard in Maidenhead on Tuesday 15th June where it will be restored. It took twelve hours to load up and seven to unload. It is hoped that the ride can be up and running for 2011. More information on the Wheel can be found on the Rides page at

In other news, the $5,000 donation by the American Coaster Enthusiasts continues to receive news coverage, including and Attractions Management, and blog site Big News Margate.

Monday, 5 July 2010

BBC News carries a report about the American Coaster Enthusiasts' donation towards repairs on the Scenic Railway. This news is also covered on the American Coaster Enthusiasts' website, Kent Online and Heart FM.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Happy Birthday from one Scenic Railway to another!
Brooke Pether, Operations Manager at Melbourne's Luna Park (home of a 98-year-old Scenic Railway - the oldest continuously operating roller coaster in the world) has sent a birthday message to Dreamland Margate on the 90th birthday of our Scenic Railway:

"Happy birthday! 90 years is quite an achievement for a person let alone a rollercoaster. Well done to everyone who has played a part in the success of your Scenic Railway. We are honoured to be able to wish you all well on this great day.

"Dave Collard keeps us well informed here at Melbourne’s Luna Park with the progress of your historic amusement park due to open in 2012 and we are very excited as it draws closer. How lucky you are to have someone on board who has so much passion and enthusiasm for the project.

"Other exciting events of 2012, our Park’s and our Scenic Railway’s 100th birthday falling on December 13th. What an exciting year for historic wooden coasters it will be.

"So we say raise a glass to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the opening of Margate’s Scenic Railway and many more to come.

"Congratulations from all the team at Luna Park, Melbourne, Australia."

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Scenic Railway at 90
As the Scenic Railway reaches its 90th birthday today, the Save Dreamland Campaign is pleased to announce that the world's largest club of amusement ride enthusiasts, the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE), has donated $5,000 dollars towards the restoration of the historic structure.

The Scenic Railway is the United Kingdom’s oldest roller coaster and will be the centrepiece in the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides at Dreamland Margate, being developed by the Dreamland Trust. The Trust announced its plans for a spectacular new 21st Century tourist attraction at the Dreamland Amusement Park site in 2007. Work on the project, which will cost £12.5m, is expected to start later this year.

Chairman of the Dreamland Trust Nick Laister said: “I would like to thank all of the members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts for this very generous donation. This demonstrates the level of international interest in the future of the Scenic Railway, which is a remarkable and fragile survivor. We will ensure that this donation is used 100% on the restoration of this roller coaster. I look forward to welcoming the members of ACE to Dreamland Margate when the Scenic Railway reopens."

ACE was founded in 1978 as a not-for-profit, all volunteer club to foster and promote the conservation, appreciation, knowledge and enjoyment of the art of the classic wooden roller coaster and the contemporary steel coaster.

President of ACE, Mark Cole, says: “The Scenic Railway is one of very few coasters of this type in the world. Our support of the Dreamland Trust and their mission to return the coaster to operational status is similar to the work that ACE did to restore the oldest coaster in the world several years ago. Preservation is a major part of the formation and continued work of ACE. We look forward to returning to ride Scenic Railway in the not to distance future”.

Celebrate the Scenic Railway's 90th birthday tonight in Margate at the Lighthouse Bar from 6pm. Everybody is welcome!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Scenic at 90

The Scenic reaches the grand old age of 90 this Saturday, 3rd July.

If you can, please join us in raising a glass. All are welcome.

Saturday 3rd July, From 6pm
The Lighthouse Bar, Margate Harbour Arm

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