Kent On Line Comments

The Save Dreamland Campaign was launched by Joyland Books in January 2003 and is now supported by several thousand people. This is the place to discuss all aspects of saving Margate's famous amusement park and its iconic , Grade II listed Scenic Railway, Britain's oldest roller coaster.

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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 27 Jun 2015, 08:48

Thanet residents have funded a great deal of what's happening to Dreamland, via local taxation, so I don't see it as unfair to give a discount.

Let's also remember Dreamland is an events space too, and many Thanet residents possibly will be more interested in that aspect than the rides.

Also:
Dreamland could have come in with a bang, instead it came in with a whimper.


I certainly didn't feel my time at Dreamland was wasted, wasn't a whimper but a big cheer, and I made a round trip of almost 800 miles to be there and have no regrets.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 27 Jun 2015, 09:41

Ref Suburban Homeboy blog.

Scenic (as with cinema building) is now listed at II* rather than II.

This is important in heritage terms as out of all listed buildings only a small % are at II* and that reflects rarity & importance (grade I tends to be for cathedrals, important stately homes and things, even fewer at I).

It also means Historic England (formerly English Heritage) has a greater say in what happens with it and round it, in practical terms (even if not in legislation) it does bring a better level of protection and helps enable more grant aid etc.

Upgrading to II* following the fire was possibly what saved the Scenic.

Listing description, which needs updating:

http://list.historicengland.org.uk/resu ... id=1359602

BTW the newly restored & painted machinery can be viewed via a window in the new engine house building. Looks good, last time I saw it all it looked very sad indeed! I'm hoping nerds like me will get an opportunity for a closer view, I can't be the only one with an interest in how the Scenic actually operates.

Heritage Open Days, Museums at Night... well established national events, maybe Sands Heritage can think about this aspect of public interest in Dreamland.

On the All The Fun of the Fair forum, we were following the progress of some of the rides undergoing a full restoration by David Littleboy and his team: A set of Gallopers (four-abreast, no less), the Zodiac Jets that were once toured by Carters' Steam Fair, a rather rare double-decker juvenile roundabout, with a circle of rockets on the upper deck and a selection of scooters (of the motorbike variety) to be attached to the lower platform (giving rise to the name "Mods and Rockets") and a lovely Dodgem track. These rides were all delivered in plenty of time and in perfect order - they looked absolutely superb. You can read more about David's restoration projects on his website.


Yes. Superb. I was too big for the juvenile roundabout with the scooters, sadly, but the gallopers (VERY rare to have four abreast) are magnificent, as were the jets, and the highlight of my day was the dodgems. I had Chuck Berry. I'm still grinning...
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby SuburbanHomeboy » 27 Jun 2015, 10:40

Thanks for the update, EAS! I have edited the blog to include the Grade II* listing information - this is important stuff to get right.

So pleased to hear that the machinery will be on display. I love watching the workings of the Flying Machine at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, so this is a welcome feature.

As for the whole local resident discount - it sounds like I'm a truly selfish so-and-so. I'm not, really; as I said in my comments about volunteers and campaigners, we don't expect special treatment, but likewise we don't expect to be treated less well than others. I couldn't have given a monkey's about a local resident discount. It wasn't an issue for me, but then when the opening day tickets went on priority sale to local residents to the exclusion of all others - including those of us who had campaigned and travelled far to pitch in - together with other offers/competitions from which I was excluded, it became an issue. I spent the week or so running up to the tickets going on sale in a state of intense frustration. On the morning of the ticket sale, from 8.00am onwards, there was so much fuss and attention on social media - loads of people queueing up - I was thinking "well, there goes my chance of getting to the opening day". That is really NOT a good way to treat your loyal supporters.

But hey - just a few hours in the park last Friday was enough to remind me that it really is all worth it in the end ;-) Might have to find a local hotel for the Grease Singalong event...
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 27 Jun 2015, 11:46

I confess I felt a little like you did when the tickets went on sale, and I couldn't even get on to the website to book. There were tears... I thought we had missed out too, so frustrating, but eventually the site was up and running and I got tickets for Friday daytime and the Hullabaloo, though I did wonder about the latter at the time I'm very pleased in the end we went. (High praise for the Big Six and all those who bothered to dress in period and dance along... not a headline act like Marina or Chas N Dave, but very much my sort of thing! I'm afraid I had to wimp out by 11 so didn't sample the indoor delights, so can't comment.)

https://youtu.be/yD0NddaO-24

http://www.dreamland.co.uk/events/listi ... tail/1/9/-

I did have probs with the online booking (getting PDF to work) but a combination of help on this forum, Facebook message and email got it sorted eventually.

I suppose local residents had to be made to feel special too, as I said, they've had to fund some of all this, really, and put up with the dereliction for so long. In the end we all got there.

I loved it all. Sitting outside the Turner the day before opening with a cuppa and looking along to Dreamland and the cinema 'fin' I felt very proud to have been a tiny part of the campaign to save it all.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby Bob » 27 Jun 2015, 14:35

/the big problem was that Dreamland opened before it was ready so many rides were unavailable, toilets were closed and many parts of it only half finished, It even opened late as they rushed to try to complete things. All in all it was a bit of a shambles. It was so incomplete they should have offered people a partial refund. Almost £20 for a few rides is far to high and will put a lot of people of of coming back

They need to rethink the admission fee approach. It is not going to work. The £20 as well is far to high and people will simply not pay it. It is way out of line with similar attractions. If you take Clacton Pier admission is free but you can buy wristband for the rides at £14 for adults and £8 for children with a 30% discount for online bookings so £9.80 & £5.60
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 27 Jun 2015, 17:16

No toilets were closed Bob. There were four next to the roller skating, a block just outside, and a whole bank of portaloos near the main stage. Two us us made good use of the various facilities throughout the day.

Dreamland had a well planned opening ceremony, which began not long after 10 am and those of us in the crowd could hear what was happening, with local dignitaries (Mayor included, in full regalia) and others making speeches, including Nick who paid tribute to the campaign, rep from Heritage Lottery Fund, council etc. Several people helped with the ribbon cutting, including descendants of Sanger, and a former Scenic brakeman, George Wright, 1946, who is in his nineties. I was honoured to have a few words with him later and he gave me the OK to take his photo.

About 40 secs in is George Wright

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33203711

I'm sure Nick can fill us in on all of these people, their histories and how contact was made, and of course there had to be an opening ceremony. I didn't hear anyone in the crowd moaning about it.

Once the ribbon was cut, at around 11 am, and we streamed under the Scenic, we were given flags, sung to by a local school choir, entertainers were cheering us in... it was a party atmosphere.

As for the rides, what rubbish you talk again. Who is paying £20? No-one. I paid less than £15 for admission and rides, hey I'm 'people', and there were plenty open. Punch and Judy, Wall of Death, entertainment, the works. I spent a full day at Dreamland, enjoyed the rides, the atmosphere and simply exploring the place. No shambles at all, well organised and maybe it's time to stop trolling? It's really getting boring now.

You weren't there were you? I was and can prove it. Mine and himself's pic is on the BBC website news story, in the crowd.

I hardy think Clacton Pier, delightful though I'm sure it is, compares with Dreamland.
Last edited by EAS on 27 Jun 2015, 22:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby SuburbanHomeboy » 27 Jun 2015, 17:42

Pleased also to report that the Big Wheel started taking riders today - I received Tweets from a guy at the park who said he was one of the first on board and loved the ride!

One step closer to completion ;-)
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 27 Jun 2015, 17:55

That's great news! People must have been working so hard over the past week on site.

It was fantastic just to have it working, on opening day. As I have no head for heights I wasn't too concerned about it not taking punters! (It was a good excuse... couldn't find one not to go on the Crazy Mouse, eek).

I gather some very last minute extra safety features had been asked for which couldn't be implemented in time for opening weekend.

Go on Bob... you know you want to...

https://twitter.com/chrwrd/status/614795026858672128

Pleasure Park Dreamland Twitter.jpg
Pleasure Park Dreamland Twitter.jpg (68.46 KiB) Viewed 1971 times
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Re: Kent On Line Comments

Postby EAS » 05 Jul 2015, 01:10

Back to blogs, another view of Dreamland, some great photos and flavour of what's there

http://fryupsgoodornot.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... rgate.html

And the RIBA journal no less

http://www.ribaj.com/products/rethinkin ... asure-park
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