The public inquiry into Thanet District Council’s plans to Compulsorily Purchase the Dreamland site from the current land owners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company, ended this month with the closing arguments in the case being heard on Monday 26 March 2012.  We now wait for a decision from the Secretary of State anticipated around July this year.

Dreamland Trust Chairman, Nick Laister and former Dreamland Project Director, Jonathan Bryant, Thanet District Council, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company and Close Brothers gave evidence at the Public Inquiry. Summaries and further information can be found on the Council’s website


Urgent work to Dreamland’s Grade II* Cinema is being carried out by Coombs (Canterbury) on behalf of Thanet District Council under several Urgent Works Notices served on the landowners.

The work began in May 2011 to safeguard and prevent any further deterioration to the building that is of national and historic importance.

Now 85% complete the work, so far, includes new roofing, re-pointing of brickwork, restoration and testing of the cinema fin iconic sign, repair work to the rotunda window (pictured above), electrics, organ inspection and pest control.

REAL ALE CAMPAIGN                 

We’re doing a bit to support the campaign for real ale – it’s a tuff job, but someone has to do it…

So this year we’re sponsoring an ale at the Planet Thanet Beer Festival. This well established event, one the South East’s leading beer festivals, will be showcasing the finest of products from brewers and cider makers from all over the country and beyond.

The festival runs on 6th and 7th April 2012 at the Winter Gardens, Margate CT9 1HX ( and boasts over 200 different real ales and about 60 ciders and perries, as well as foreign beers and fine wines alongside top entertainment and much merriment. And remember, don’t drink and drive – use public transport or taxis.  Free entry to card carrying CAMRA members.  Cheers!


Dreamland is 92 years old this year, but the amusement park pre-dates this being established by the UK’s famous circus showman, ‘Lord’ George Sanger in 1875.

This Easter we will be working with the award-winning Whitstable based animation company, Animate and Create, and a group of teenagers to make a short animation about Sanger’s extraordinary life and time in Margate.

This is one of a series of five animations about Dreamland’s heritage.  Other themes include the Grade II* Scenic Railway, the Grade II* Cinema Building, youth culture heritage and Dreamland memories.

The animation project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots Strand and aims to teach young people about their own and other peoples’ heritage with the added benefit of learning skills in animation.

Anyone aged between 13-18 can take part in this FREE animation workshop 2nd– 4th April 2012.  Places are limited so booking is absolutely essentialcontact Animate and Create on 01227 281966 or email

With three animations already in the can and one on the way there is just one more to shoot – Your Dreamland Memories.

If you would like your Dreamland Memories brought to life on the silver screen then join us at Marine Studios, Margate CT9 1UJ between 10am-4pm on Saturday 21st April 2012 for a voice recording.  We’d also love to see any Dreamland photos or memorabilia you might like to share.

The final work will be shown as part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations this summer and screened at the Carlton Cinema, Westgate later in the year – we’ll keep you posted with times and dates.

Please note that Marine Studios is on the first floor of a listed building with limited access.


We will be celebrating Margate’s youth culture heritage this May with a Soul Weekender to mark the 48th anniversary of the Mod riots, which was instrumental in shaping our youth culture today.

We begin the celebrations on Saturday 26th May 2012 with an all-day DIY Jukebox at the fabulous Fort’s Café, Cliff Terrace, Cliftonville CT9 1RU.  If you love vinyl, you’ll love this!  Bring along your top fave 3 soul tunes (on vinyl naturally!) and as the title suggests you’re in charge of the turntable.  This is a FREE event, no booking required.

On Sunday 27th May 2012 one of the UK’s leading Northern Soul DJ, Jo Wallace, leads an all dayer with guest DJs and special guest appearance by legendary soul artist, Ann Sexton (tbc), at the award-winning Westcoast Bar & Music Venue, King Street, Margate CT9 1DD.  £5 booking in advance via the Westcoast or £8 on the door.

The Soul Screen, also at the Westcoast, will be showing Dean Chalkley’s award-winning film, Young Souls, and new release, The Modernist throughout Sunday.

And don’t forget a visit to the Margate Museum (formerly Margate Magistrates Court), in Margate’s vintage quarter in the Old Town CT9 1ER, where Dr George Simpson sentenced rampaging youths after the riots in 1964 – his famous “sawdust Caesars” sending down speech was immortalised in the film, Quadrophenia.  Open Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 10am-4pm Children FREE, adults £1.

All this plus Tracey Emin’s solo show, She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea, opens on 26th May 2012 at Turner Contemporary, The Rendezvous CT9 1HG FREE entry.

So, down to Margate Whit Sunday weekend is a must and with a special rate for our Soul Weekenders at the Walpole Bay Hotel, Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville CT9 2JJ how can you possibly resist?


Lone Twin’s Boat

Congratulations go to the Steering Group bringing Lone Twin’s The Boat Project to Margate, led by organisers Parrabbola, for securing just under £70,000 through the Arts Council SE Grants for the Arts and £15,000 from Kent County Council for Margate to host the Boat Project.

A celebratory festival takes place in and around Margate Harbour 13th-16th July 2012 as we welcome the arrival of the Boat for a stop-over en route to Weymouth – the venue for the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing competitions.  This is part of the London 2012 Festival – a 12-week nationwide celebration bringing national international lead artists together.

And I am proud to announce that during the festivities our Dreamland Youth Panel’s Battle of Sound 2011 winners skater rock band, Pyson, will be performing live at the Log Book Concert along with a screenings of the Re-animated Dreamland animations at the Bicycle Cinema.  Full details of venues and times will be published later.

I hope to see some of you at the some of the events – Happy Easter!


























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