Margate Seafront Fire

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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Margate Seafront Fire

Postby Sarah » 04 Apr 2003, 13:10

As some of you will no doubt know by now, a fire has destroyed Mr Gs Amusement Arcade on Margate Seafront, as well as doing what looks like irreparable damage to the neighbouring Funland Arcade.
The fire apparently began sometime before 6.30am and is described by the BBC as being "one of the biggest fires in Kent in decades". 20 engines and 120 fire fighters are reported to have attended and, as of 1.30pm, the buildings are still smoking although the fire appears to have been contained.
I arrived at 8.30am, by which time Mr Gs was a pile of smoking rubble. The Funland Arcade was still perfectly intact at that point, and it looked for a while as if it would survive. Then the fire took hold again. Watching the building go up in flames was very upsetting: this will change the face of Margate's seafront; we have lost a number of historic Georgian facades as well as two arcades. On a positive note - the only one I can think of - the Scenic Railway was untouched by the fire.
The fire began in Mr Gs, which is owned by Jimmy Godden. Dreamland General Manager Barry Moss is quoted as being "devastated". He confirms that Mr Gs was halfway through a refurbishment and that contractors were working in the building yesterday installing air conditioning. He says that the building was locked up safely at 10.30pm last night after a normal day's trading.
Margate is left with gaping blackened hole in its seafront, just weeks before the start of the season.
Kent Fire Brigade report that it is too early to say what caused the fire.

Sarah
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Margate Seafront Fire

Postby porterm » 05 Apr 2003, 21:37

This was the first I had heard about this incident (I do anti-social shiftwork sadly). I shall have to start recording Meridian News or something to keep abreast of the local news.

Well, forgive the cynic in me, but is this not the first time a Jimmy Godden-owned property has turned into an inferno? I'm sure local people remember Ramsgate amusements a few years back. Hopefully, this is an unrelated incident, but in the present climate one can only be somewhat suspicious. Perhaps Margate amusement arcades are also considered to be non-viable, along with amusement parks.

The news is rather sad but I do hope a thorough post-fire investigation is now conducted.

The Dreamland fight continues.....

Martin Porter
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Fire at Margate

Postby AndrewEdwards » 08 Apr 2003, 10:36

I have to say ive been waiting for the fires to start in more ways than one. I dont have any idea why a fire started but i was worried from the start of this proposed closure that a fire in the park, ie The Scenic or the arcades surrounding would add to the councils abilty to ensure the Dreamland site is re-developed. I really do hope that this was a genuine accident and also hope it will not add further backing to the close of Dreamland
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mr g's fire

Postby PAUL HUGHES » 12 Apr 2003, 11:47

i hope the gap left my mr g's arcade does not make a good new entrance for the preposed new developments of the dreamland site or iam i being to cynical? :( but on a more posiative note, it would be a great chance to build a new more promanant entrance for the park, i have long thought that the present entrance is tucked away. long live dreamland :!: keep up the good work with the campaign.

paul hughes
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