NEW HORIZONS by Nick Laister, Chairman

With a New Year comes a whole new episode for Dreamland Margate. Visible work has now started on-site with the erection of scaffolding on the Grade II* listed cinema building now almost complete and work on the Grade II listed Scenic Railway will start in a matter of weeks.

Seeing work commence on site is a major milestone and a truly fantastic way to start 2011. This month it is exactly eight years since I set up the Save Dreamland Campaign with the aim of ensuring that the site remains an amusement park and that its heritage assets are saved for future generations to enjoy. We have come a long way in these eight years, from a campaigning organisation to a trust that is actually taking the lead in delivering a revitalised Dreamland. This is one of the best examples I know of a community actually becoming directly involved in making things happen on the ground rather than just watching from the side-lines. We still have significant hurdles to cross, but we are going into 2011 with the prospect of seeing Dreamland physically transformed over the next 12 months. On behalf of the Dreamland Trust, I would like to thank everybody who has contributed in the past eight years and I look forward to keeping you updated over the next few months as our exciting project moves forward.                  

THINGS TO COME by Jan Leandro, Audience Development

I’m delighted to kick off the first newsletter of the decade with an announcement of events planned, so far, for this exciting New Year.

First up is the award winning John Lawson’s Circus appearing on the Dreamland site 2-6 March, 2011. The show, voted Britain’s best circus three times in the last five years, will be presenting an all new show for 2011 including acts and artists never before seen in Margate!

John Lawson’s Circus was founded in 1974 by ‘Captain’ John Lawson and originally titled John Lawson’s Circus De Reszke. In September 1978 ‘Captain’ John Lawson took the plunge and bought a second-hand ‘Flower Show’ marquee and with on old Bedford lorry began touring the small villages in Kent with what was possibly the smallest circus in the country entirely run and performed by the four members of his family. The show has now grown both in size and reputation touring with international artistes and appearing on the Paul Daniels’ Magic Show, The Late Late Breakfast Show, Granada TV’s Lost Empires, BBC Two’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, and the Sir Anthony Hopkins’ film, Surviving Picasso.

Introduced by Ringmaster, Attila Endresz, attractions will include Western past times with the Nevadas, high in the roof of the big top on the Corde Lisse is Miss Claire Marie, from Bulgaria Ivan and Vala Ditchev on the unsupported ladder. From Hungary Gabi and Poli on the trampoline, sword and dagger balancing with the elegant Miss Top Hat and Tails. Comedy vaulting with The Superhereos – Spiderman, Batman & Robin and Wonderwoman. The Deltai Troupe – acrobats on the Russian Bar and Perch. Plus, of course, mirth and mayhem with Britain’s Funniest Clowns The Popolinos.

Performance times at Dreamland in the heated big top will be:  Wednesday 2nd – Sunday 6th March 2011. Weekdays at 4:30pm and 7:30pm.  Saturday 5th March 2011 at 2pm and again at 5pm. Sunday 6th March 2011 at 2pm only.

All seats are £8 with a special offer of all seats being £6 at both shows on Wed 2nd.  Ticket office on site daily from Mon 28th Feb or Tel: 07860 49 88 33.  Disabled access and parking available.

The next exciting announcement is the very welcome return of Carter’s Steam Fair from Bank Holiday Saturday 28 May 2011 to Sunday 5 June 2011.

Last year Carter’s Steam Fair thrilled and entertained us for three marvellous days on the Dreamland site with their spectacular vintage fairground rides, classic sideshows and guest attraction, James Messham’s Wall of Death.  This year we are extremely pleased to tell you that Carter’s have extended their visit to 9 days – we can’t wait!

Carters Steam Fair grew from the late John Carter’s vision, inspired to collect vintage Fairground rides over 30 years ago.  Since John’s death in 2000 the day-to-day running of the fair has been taken over by his son’s Joby and Seth with his wife, Anna Carter, at the helm. 

Anna says, “Sometimes when we are winching on or off a sodden ground with the rain slashing down and a howling gale, I do question my sanity, but on the up side we get such satisfaction from what we do, the first opening of the season when the fair opens and people come along to enjoy themselves is a pleasure, I want them to have lasting memories of the good time they had on their visit.”

If you’ve never experienced Carter’s Steam Fair, this is a rare opportunity to do so as they normally only appear in the shire counties, West Country and London, so roll up, roll up and enjoy the fun!

Open every day, Monday 30 May 2011 to Sunday 5 June 2011 from 11am – 9pm.  Free entry and parking available.  Disabled access to the fairground although there may be some restrictions to some of the rides.

Over the Christmas holidays, I was in discussion with Scott May to bring the world touring Scott May’s Daredevil Stunt Show to Dreamland.  This week Scott visited the Dreamland site and we now await confirmation of which day in April the show will appear.

This high octane show has amazed family audiences far and wide for over 20 years with motorcycle, car and fire stunts, clowning, human cannons and pyrotechnics all performed with the utmost care and attention to health and safety – phew!  Keep checking our website for confirmation of Date and time.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company Ltd for working with us to bring you these events and look forward to developing our programme further throughout the year with the continued support of MTCRC Ltd.


 …a big ‘thank you’ to everyone for getting in touch to compliment us on the new Dreamland Margate website, also to those people who came forward to volunteer.  It’s taking a bit of time getting back to you all, but I will be in touch shortly with more information on volunteering.



This entry was posted in Events, News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s