Dreamland Tea Dance


Sunday 12 June 2016 14:00
to Sunday 12 June 2016 18:00

Dreamland Trust Presents: The Dreamland Tea Dance

£8 standard entry
£6 in advance/ members
£4 OAPs
£6.95 Cream Tea

A slice of strictly comes to Margate!

Come and relive the good old days and enjoy an afternoon of music and social dancing in the beautifully restored 1920s Ballroom.

Ms Tequila Slammer Anna will be your hostess for the afternoon, offering dance demonstrations and tuition.

And with help from the Ragroof players and live music from The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, the Dreamland Tea Dance will be a chance to dust off your dancing shoes and enjoy sequence and social dance with a mix of Ballroom, Latin, Swing and Argentine Tango. All abilities welcome!

Why not add a Cream Tea to your afternoon? For only £6.95, feast on a delicious array of scones, sandwiches and teas. This can only be purchased in addition to a Dancing Only ticket.

For more details, click here: https://www.dreamland.co.uk/events/listings/eventdetail/177/9/dreamland-tea-dance

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Dreamland Trust to appoint new chair

Nick Laister has announced that he is to steDSC7877-300pixp down as chair of the Dreamland Trust, the charity that was responsible for saving Margate’s famous Dreamland Amusement Park from re-development and preserving its rich heritage.

Nick, who co-founded the organisation and was its first chair, says: “The Dreamland Trust launched the idea of reopening Dreamland as an amusement park of historic rides in 2007, and worked with its partners, Thanet District Council and Heritage Lottery Fund, to secure the necessary funding and deliver this unique project.

“With the opening of Dreamland in 2015 the Trust is now entering a new phase, where we will look to maximise the community, education and heritage benefits resulting from the project, as well as contributing to the development of other parts of the site, such as the Dreamland Cinema. This seemed to me to be an appropriate point for me to step down to allow a new chair to drive the organisation forward. It will also allow me to concentrate on other commitments.”

“I will remain as chair until a replacement is found, and I will be continuing as a director of the Dreamland Trust. I remain passionate about the Dreamland project, proud of what we have achieved, and firmly believe that the Trust has a significant role to play in the future of Dreamland.”

The Trust is now actively seeking a new chair. This non-executive voluntary role offers an excellent opportunity for an outstanding individual to shape the direction of the Trust, expand its membership, and make a real contribution to the regeneration of Margate.

Nick set up the Save Dreamland Campaign in January 2003, after successfully securing the listing of the Scenic Railway roller coaster the previous year. He set up the Dreamland Trust in 2007 and became its first voluntary chair, leading the Trust through its fund-raising and park development phase, through to the opening of Dreamland in June 2015. Nick is a chartered town planner and director at one of the UK’s largest planning consultancies, where he specialises in the development of visitor attractions, acting for numerous operators of theme parks, zoos and other attractions. He also owns Oxfordshire visitor attraction Fairytale Farm, the UK’s first farm park to be designed around the needs of children with disabilities.

More details on this opportunity can be found here.

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Dreamland reopens after 12 year campaign!


The famous Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate reopened on 19th June 2015 following a 12-year campaign to save the attraction, which is the oldest surviving amusement park in the UK. The Dreamland Trust is the organisation that originated the project, secured funding and managed its delivery.

Nick Laister, chairman of the Trust, gave a short speech just before the ribbon was cut talking about highlights of the 12-year project, and thanking the organisations that had helped the Trust deliver, notably the Save Dreamland Campaign, Thanet District Council, Heritage Lottery Fun and, in recent months, Sands Heritage Ltd.

Nick says: “It is now 12 years since I first set up the Save Dreamland Campaign. The reopening of the park on 19th June was an incredible day for me and the hundreds of campaigners who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

Nick, who first got involved with Dreamland in 2001 when he successfully asked the UK Government to give listed building status to the Scenic Railway roller coaster, adds:

“The idea for rebuilding Dreamland as an attraction that celebrates amusement park and seaside history and culture was something that we came up with in 2007. It seemed so right to rescue rides that were being destroyed in amusement park redevelopments, at the height of the property bubble and rebuild them alongside the Scenic Railway in a vibrant new visitor attraction at Dreamland. “

Susan Marsh, the Secretary of the Dreamland Trust, takes up the story:

“We decided that campaigning alone wasn’t enough. There needed to be an organisation that could actually involve itself in driving forward plans to reopen Dreamland, by going out there and securing funding for the project. We needed to bring to life the hopes and aspirations of the many volunteers and thousands of supporters, locally, nationally and even internationally.”

The Dreamland Trust was born towards the end of 2007, with some very hardworking directors coming on board who then set about persuading numerous organisations around the UK that Dreamland was a cause worth supporting. Nick says:

“With organisations such as English Heritage and the Arts Council behind us, we were able to apply for money from Heritage Lottery and the Government. We successfully secured several million pounds from Heritage Lottery Fund and we eventually managed to get the project budget up to £18m.”

With the money in place, The Dreamland Trust began to develop the layout, look and feel of the park. But there were major setbacks. Susan says:

“The Scenic Railway fire of 2008 was a major blow to the project. Not only was 25% of the structure of the listed roller coaster destroyed, the station and workshops were also lost, including all the original wooden trains with their distinctive carved dragon’s heads. But in an unexpected way, it gave the project traction as everybody realised that if things did not happen quickly Dreamland would be lost forever. The project really took off.”

From that day the project gained momentum, and with millions of pounds of funding in place a team of designers, engineers and amusement ride specialists came on board and, under the Dreamland Trust’s leadership, the project that we see today started to take shape.

Susan adds: “We appointed a team of top consultants, architects and designers. For example, we appointed Wayne Hemingway as a consultant to create the Dreamland branding. We stated that we did not want a heritage amusement park – the term was actually banned! We wanted a mix of rides from all eras, events, festivals, food and numerous supporting attractions, all presented in a non-ironic way. The team brilliantly embraced our vision.”

Nick explains that recently a local company has been appointed to operate the park:

“The Dreamland Trust and its partner Thanet District Council have now selected a local company, Sands Heritage Ltd, who are responsible for operating Dreamland.”

Sands Heritage organised the highly acclaimed opening day which, despite a small number of rides not being operating, really hit the mark.

Nick says: “In a town that has already seen positive change following the very successful opening of Turner Contemporary, Dreamland is another major leap forward. The opening day felt like one giant party, and Dreamland will now bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to Margate, will create hundreds of jobs and opportunities for local companies.

“I am proud of the Dreamland Trust’s successful work to bring this iconic attraction back from dereliction – a demonstration of how effective a passionate group of volunteers can be in really making things happen. It has been a long, hard fought, 12-year process, and the icing on the cake has been Sands Heritage Ltd’s brilliant realisation of of our vision over a ridiculously tight timescale.

“This is only the beginning, and the Dreamland Trust looks forward to working with Sands Heritage, Thanet District Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund to ensure this project provides the maximum benefit to the community.”

There is a Photo Gallery of the Grand Opening on Facebook and you can view the opening ceremony on YouTube.

The opening of Dreamland has been covered extensively on television, radio and newspapers. Notable are Third Sector Magazine, Isle of Thanet Gazette, Kent Online, Press Association, Sunday Mirror, Daily Mail 1, Daily Mail 2, The Independent, The Guardian, Channel 4 News, BBC News, ITV News and The Telegraph.

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A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from The Dreamland Trust!

Eric Sillers courtesy of Sharon Floate

Eric Sillers courtesy of Sharon Floate


A big THANK YOU to all our supporters, volunteers, partners and staff for their contribution this year and previous years – see you all in 2015!  Meanwhile here is the next Scenic Railway restoration time-lapse video http://youtu.be/u1yGWl4br7w.


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Dreamland Visitor & Learning Arcade

Dreamland Visitor & Learning Arcade


Sunday 28 December 2014 from 11am until 4pm
Thursday 1 January 2015 from mid-day until 3pm
Friday 2 January 2015 from mid-day until 3pm


Saturdays from 11am until 4pm
Sundays from 11am until 4pm


The Dreamland Expo and Visitor & Learning Arcade is now taking bookings for 2015 for community activities including:

school visits
photo shoots

For more information please email arcade@dreamlandmargate.co.uk.

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5 FREE Circus Workshop Places at Dreamland!

Acrojou Jesters

Acrojou Jesters

Acrojou German Wheel

Acrojou German Wheel

The Dreamland Trust has teamed up with the amazing international contemporary circus outfit, Acrojou, to bring you two exclusive circus arts workshops to Dreamland and is delighted to offer 5 FREE places on a first come, first served basis!

Blending acrobatics, story-telling, performance craft and hand-built structures, Acrojou create unique contemporary circus experiences worldwide. These exciting workshops will introduce you to some of the disciplines used in their work and in contemporary circus.

Workshops are aimed at moderately fit 14-18 year olds and include:

  • An introduction to contemporary circus skills
  • Taster sessions in a variety of circus disciplines
  • German Wheel
  • Certificates of completion
  • Participation contributes towards the Arts Award Scheme
  • Packed lunch and refreshments

Workshops are held on Monday 22 December 2014 and Tuesday 23 December 2014 from 11am until 3pm at the Dreamland Expo, Dreamland Visitor & Learning Arcade, Marine Terrace, Margate CT9 1JX. Beginners welcome!


To secure your FREE place email jan@dreamlandmargate.co.uk

For more information about Acrojou please visit http://www.acrojou.com/.

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The Garden Gate Community Project

The Garden Gate Community Project

6 & 7 December 2014 11am until 5pm

Come one come all to the Dreamland Expo as we welcome the Garden Gate community project to the Arcade for a festive weekend of Christmas tree decorating – music, pinballs, stocking fillers and bijou cinema.



Christmas Cracker final

19 December 2014 7pm until late

The Dreamland Trust is a not-for-profit organisation awaiting charity status and raises funds to continue delivering community events and learning activities.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL www.dreamlandchristmascracker.eventbrite.co.uk.


Acrojou German Wheel

Acrojou German Wheel

22 & 23 December 2014 11am until 3pm

The amazing international contemporary circus outfit, Acrojou, create unique contemporary circus experiences worldwide.  We are delighted to have persuaded Acrojou to take a break from their busy touring schedule to run two exclusive workshops in the Dreamland Expo. Workshops are aimed at moderately fit 14-18 year olds and include:

  • An introduction to contemporary circus skills
  • Taster sessions in a variety of circus disciplines
  • German Wheel
  • Certificates of completion
  • Participation contributes towards the Arts Award Scheme
  • Packed lunch and refreshments

Limited spaces available so booking is absolutely essential! Click on the following links to book your places.

dreamlandcircusworkshopmonday.eventbrite.co.uk  22 December 2014 dreamlandcircusworkshoptuesday.eventbrite.co.uk  23 December 2014

For more information about Acrojou please visit http://www.acrojou.com/.



1 & 2 January 2015 Mid-day until 3pm

Sick of turkey left overs? Bored with the telly? Well come on down to the Dreamland Expo and blow those cabin fever blues away with our vintage pinball tournament. Free entry, no booking required – just rock up and have fun. It’s not about the winning, it’s all about taking part – oh, yes it is!


Please note we are closed the weekend of 20 and 21 December 2014


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