This month sees the long awaited opening of Kent’s new, state-of-the-art History and Library Centre in Maidstone town centre.

Doors open to the public on Monday 23 April 2012 and I am delighted that we have been invited to exhibit a presentation on Dreamland’s past, present and future using images from the Dreamland Archive.

Our Dreamland: Past, Present & Future exhibition is screen based and will give visitors a snapshot account of the progression of the Dreamland Margate project since it began in 2010, as well as glancing back in time to Dreamland’s origins dating back to the British railway boom in the 1860s, to ‘Lord’ George Sanger’s operation on the site and how Dreamland came into being 92 years ago.

Maidstone’s History and Library Centre’s opening day coincides with St George’s Day, World Book Night and William Shakespeare’s birthday. The opening will be highlighted in Maidstone’s town centre by some of Kent’s historic costumed characters who will parade through the town telling people about the grand opening. Doors open at 9am and visitors are invited to come along and enjoy the many displays and activities on offer culminating with an author event at 7pm with Kent thriller writer, Elizabeth Haynes, and book giving as part of World Book Night. For more information visit www.kent.gov.uk/archives.

Kent’s wealth of documents, photographs, maps and historic records (some dating back to 699AD) are held in carefully controlled conditions at the purpose built centre to preserve them for future generations. There is also a community history area and a large space for displays and events as well as a research room.


Brian Hodgson’s solo show, Trans, at the Pie Factory in Margate’s old town is open until the 2 May 2012 as part of Margate’s Pushing Print event.

The show features large etchings on aluminium panels of images of Dreamland’s Grade II* listed Scenic Railway and includes a film of Brian making the work.

To create these extraordinary panels Brian uses a complex process involving the use of acid, which Brian describes as ‘Acid Actions’.

There is an opportunity to Meet the Artist on Saturday 28 April at 2pm for an informal discussion forum.  To book a place email tish@pushingprint.co.uk.

Open Tuesdays – Fridays between 11am and 5pm and 12pm – 4pm on Sundays, the exhibition is FREE, with no booking required and full disabled access. For more information visit www.piefactorymargate.co.uk.

The Dreamland Trust presents


Saturday 26 May – Sunday 27 May 2012 

Kicking off with…


Saturday 26 May. Fort’s Café 8 Cliff Terrace Margate CT9 1RU www.fortscafe.co.uk

Quite possibly Cliftonville’s coolest café serving proper, home-cooked food, fortifying teas and coffees, quality beers and fine wine. Bring along your top 3 soul tunes and rock the turntable! FREE EVENT! Open 9am – midnight


Sat 26th May 8pm – 1am. The Britannia 47 Fort Hill Margate CT9 1HH www.thebritmargate.co.uk £1 entry before 10pm – £3 thereafter. Guest DJs:

Tony Matthews – Caister Soul Weekend

Roni O’Brien – Caister Soul Weekend

Micky B – East Kent Soul Connection

Jason Anderson – East Kent Soul Connection

Plus Special Guest

DJ Rossiter – The Atlantis, Margate   


Sunday 27 May 1pm – 11pm.Westcoast Bar & Music Venue King Street Margate CT9 1DD  www.westcoast.co.uk. £5 on the door. DJs include:

Jo Wallace – 100 Club/Glastonbury/Vintage

Dean Chalkley – Black Cat Club

Tony Jackson – Soulgate on Sea/ Thanet Scooter Club

Chris Bangs – Too Cool For School

The Two Lees – Kent Soul Club

Simon Penfold – Fly Me to the Moon

John Herbert – Soul on the Harbour plus


Screening all day Dean Chalkley’s award winning film Young Souls and his latest release New Faces


Market Place Margate Old Town CT9 1ER w.margatemuseum.wordpress.com. 4pm, Wednesday 11am-5pm children FREE entry, adults £1

This is where Dr George Simpson famously jailed four ‘Sawdust Caesars’ following the Whitsun weekend riots in 1964 – an event placing Margate firmly on Britain’s youth culture heritage map. Open Saturdays 11am–5pm, Sundays 11am – 4pm.


Our iconic Donald McGill saucy seaside postcard characters will be outside each Soul Town Weekend venue. Strike a pose, take a snap, upload to the Capture a Seaside Moment Facebook page and add your own original postcard caption!

The Walpole Bay Hotel www.walpolebayhotel.co.uk is offering preferential rates – just mention the Soul Weekender when making a booking or visit www.visitthanet.co.uk for alternatives.


Go to Turner Contemporary on its 1st birthday – yes, it is a year since the gallery opened its doors to the world and the impact has been extraordinary with almost half a million visitors within the first twelve months of opening – far exceeding predicted visitor numbers of 150,000 per annum.

Coincidentally the Scenic Railway carried half a million passengers in its first season when it opened to the public in 1920!

Also this month sees the opening of Tracey Emin’s solo show, She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea, 26 May – 23 September. For more details about the exhibition visit and Turner Contemporary visit www.turnercontemporary.org.

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