SAVE DREAMLAND CAMPAIGN RESCUES VINTAGE RIDES
Heritage Amusement Park proposed for Margate's Dreamland site moved
a step closer this week as dismantling work commenced on the
remaining rides at the defunct Pleasureland Amusement Park in
Southport, Merseyside. The rides, which are some of the last
remaining examples of their type in the world, will be placed in
storage to enable them to be rebuilt as part of the proposed
Heritage Amusement Park at Dreamland, Margate.
Campaign Leader Nick Laister says:- "Southport's Pleasureland
is one of only a handful of seaside amusement parks in this country
that still have original vintage amusement park rides. Rides such as
the River Caves and Caterpillar date back to the 1920s. Sadly the
park closed last year and the rides were due to be bulldozed this
month to make way for a new temporary fairground operator. The
Campaign has been in discussions with Blackpool Pleasure Beach and
Pleasureland's new owners, Sefton Council, since February with a
view to removing all the original rides to allow them to be placed
in storage for use in the proposed Heritage Amusement Park.
Thankfully these discussions have resulted in the rides being
'donated' to the Dreamland project."
The rides currently being dismantled include the vintage 1960-built
Wild Mouse wooden roller coaster that formerly operated at
Morecambe's Frontierland and the 1922 Caterpillar, identical to the
one that operated at Dreamland between 1922 and 1980, becoming one
of its most famous rides. The Campaign's contractors (Hopkinson
Construction Engineering Ltd, who have just completed construction
of the Knightmare ride at Camelot) started work on ride dismantling
on Wednesday 6 June 2007 and work should finish by 30 June.
Nick Laister says:- "I visited Pleasureland a few weeks ago
with ride engineers Dave Collard and David Wragg to survey the
condition of the rides, most of which were in reasonably good
The rides would
have all been bulldozed over the next few weeks as Sefton Council
are in the process of clearing the site for Norman Wallis ‘Dreamstorm’,
who has an 18 month lease on the site.
We were given a
very tight deadline to secure the necessary funding and remove the
proportion of the funding has been provided by the Margate Town
Centre Regeneration Company Ltd (MTCRC), the owners of Dreamland.
therefore like to take this opportunity to thank Toby Hunter and the
rest of the team at MTCRC; without their help these rides would
undoubtedly have been lost and the Dreamland Heritage Amusement Park
project could not have been delivered.
I would also
like to thank Tony Corfield at Sefton Council for his help, and for
keeping the rides safe whilst the bulldozers cleared the rest of the
site, and Susan Marsh and Dave Collard for their valuable
The Save Dreamland Campaign launched its proposals for a Heritage
Amusement Park, based around the listed Scenic Railway, in May 2007.
The Heritage Amusement Park, which would be a world's first, will
include some of the remaining examples of Britain's amusement park
heritage in a high quality park-like environment around the Scenic
Railway. The listed Cinema building would also be brought back into
use with rides, shows, bars, restaurants and an amusement
park/seaside heritage museum.
The Save Dreamland Campaign has set up The Dreamland Trust, which
will play a key role in delivering the Heritage Amusement Park
project. Nick, who is Chairman of The Dreamland Trust, added:-
"We believe that this is the best option to secure the future of
the Grade 2 listed Scenic Railway and for the distinguished history
of the park to be recognised. It is also no exaggeration to say that
within the next 12 months most of the country's amusement park
heritage outside of Blackpool and Great Yarmouth will be lost. It is
therefore an ideal way of safeguarding and preserving the UK's
amusement park heritage at this critical time. We are currently in
active discussions with a number of other parks with a view to
saving their threatened historic rides and moving them to Dreamland.
The Dreamland project could not have been better timed and will
undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the regeneration of Margate."
Initial feasibility work undertaken by the Save Dreamland Campaign
and by independent consultants suggests that the project will be
viable. Further feasibility work on the project is to be undertaken
over the coming weeks by a leading tourism consultancy.
Nick Laister concludes:- "The project still has a long way to
go, but we are hopeful that we can open the new Heritage Amusement
Park for the 2009 season.
I look forward
to continuing to work with MTCRC and Thanet District Council to
deliver this first-class visitor attraction to Margate."
LATIN LOUNGE OPENS IT'S DOORS TO THE PUBLIC....
ON Friday 15
June 2007 the newly refurbished Latin lounge opened to the
public for the first time.
There’s a real feeling of discovery having made one’s way down the
narrow alley off Post Office Avenue, which leads to the portals of
this treasure. Inside the décor is tasteful with skilful mirror
effects and the spaciousness of this Victorian building is a
The effective interior design by Coco
and the friendly staff contribute to its soothing ambience. A lot of
thought and effort has obviously gone into this enterprise. Carol,
the owner of the business, says:- "It feels like a dream, now
it is actually open after all the hard preparatory work."
Her wine bar offers a range of
Mediterranean food and she intends to hold live music sessions,
including Jazz. Her intention is not that of another night club but
the creation of a relaxing and more sophisticated venue, open for
all to enjoy but mainly catering for those 25 plus.
Besides the lower room there is the
smaller Primera Bar where musical events can be held and upstairs a
function room which can hold up to 80 guests for special events and
occasions. "Excellent service will be a priority."
We wish them well for the future.
For further details see:-
firstname.lastname@example.org. Or ring 01704 536700.
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