As we neared the end of June we eagerly awaited news from Thanet District Council of a site hand over date. However, due to an administrative error in the council’s land transfer process, the handover has been delayed by a couple of months – the knock on effect means that we will not be opening next summer and are now aiming for an Easter 2015 opening.

We were obviously disappointed to hear the news, but this does now provide a longer lead in time and an opportunity to fully engage people as we rebuild Dreamland. The commitment of the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund is as strong as ever and we are looking forward to gaining access to the site again this autumn.

Ever since the Public Inquiry in March 2012, we have effectively been locked out of the Dreamland site, so our first job on gaining access will be to re-asses the internal and external spaces.

Landowners, Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company Ltd., has been granted permission to appeal the High Court’s decision. The council’s lawyers are awaiting the Order from the Court, this will confirm the grounds on which the permission to appeal was granted. The Court has confirmed that the case will be expedited and we await a hearing date.

This doesn’t halt the vesting process and the council are still able to proceed due to the withdrawal of the Suspension Application. Meanwhile MTCRC have been removing their property from the site and cinema building.


DSCF3477During this period of limbo we have been busy in the background working with the professional team made up of project managers, Gardiner & Theobald; Wayne, Gerardine and Jack at HemingwayDesign; Tim Goode at Guy Hollaway Architects and Michael Smith from the National Fairground Trust to finalise the rides line up, plan park content, create the overall design, develop the pre-opening programme, branding, internal and external layouts.

Later this year, contracts will be put out to tender by the council for construction and restoration work – we anticipate restoration work to the Grade II*-listed Scenic Railway will take approximately 12 months to complete.

Running parallel to the physical work will be the pre-opening learning and engagement programme and we look forward to announcing training and volunteering opportunities further down the line.

Some headway has been made with the Dreamland Archive and we are now looking forward to formulating a partnership with the South East Archive of Seaside Photography project at Canterbury Christ Church University to create an online portal on the SEAS Photography website at

We have also been developing a restoration project with 14-18 year olds through the Thanet Skills Studio at Westwood Cross. This is an opportunity for young people to learn about their heritage and develop traditional skills in restoration, engineering and up-cycling.

On the commercial side, our Project Director, Mike Nuttall, is reviewing the Business Plan and will be inviting operators and concessionaries to show an expression of interest once the land transfer has concluded.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Over the coming months we will keep you all informed and fully up-to-date with progress, opportunities, events and activities via the newsletter,  website at or on facbook and twitter.

Whilst here, we would like to thank our partners, funders and the community for their passion, support and commitment and we look forward to working together to re-build Dreamland for future generations to enjoy.


We would like to say a very BIG THANK YOU to those people who have generously given their time and resources to help and support The Dreamland Trust, the project and our events and activities.

Firstly thank you to our veteran supporters, Kapo and his family and Scenic Railway brakeman, David Collard, for their hard work, passion and commitment assisting us with the historic rides collection, artefacts, promotion and project work. Many of you will have seen Kapo’s Vintage Ice Cream seller’s bike at various events over the years.

Our grateful thanks go to Jacqueline Maynard and the Victoria and Albert Museum for loaning images and material for the Walpole Champneys exhibition at the Pie Factory gallery. An extended thank you goes to Jacqueline for the ‘in conversation’ event with The Dreamland Trust’s historic cinema and theatre expert, Richard Gray, and architect, Sam Causer who we are grateful to for sharing their time and knowledge.

The exhibition was curated by a collective of artists, makers and designers who put on an inspiring and well informed show. Dawn Cole is an award winning printmaker and independent curator working with archives and Dawn previously curated our Donald McGill postcard exhibition. She exhibits internationally and has work in private and public collections.

Jenny Duff and Lindsay Marsden worked with Dawn to help organise and curate the show.

Also thank you to our volunteers, John Cripps, Kim Conway, Suzannah Foad and Sam Smith for assisting, researching and invigilating the exhibition. To Adam Cunard, Managing Director of the Picturedrome Electric Theatre Co Ltd, who donated a screen at the Carlton Cinema, Westgate for our fundraising event, supported by the British Film Institute.

Nick MorleyOur grateful thanks to artist and illustrator, Nick Morley, based at Resort Studios, who has generously produced 100 special edition, signed prints inspired by images of the amazing Samson Man of Iron (right) found in the Dreamland Archive. Prints are £15 each and available at Lounge on the Farm festival 26-29 July 2013 (details below) to help raise funds for The Dreamland Trust.

Thank you also Liam Nabb and Sam Causer for introductions, talks and audience discussions and R G Scotts Furniture Mart based in Margate’s Old Ice Works


IMG_1664Dreamland designer, Wayne Hemmingway, was invited to judge the Royal Institute of British Architects’ sandcastle challenge on Margate sands for the Love Architecture Festival. Architect students won the Most Technically Daring section for their complex labyrinth like structure of tunnels and curves making it the ‘Most Technically Daring’ in the competition with a fairly accurate copy of Dreamland’s Grade II*-listed Scenic Railway as runner up. Congratulations!


Hush Puppies shoot at the Vintage Pinball ParlourWe’re all really excited to be at this year’s Lounge on the Farm Festival with The Vintage Pinball Parlour (above for Hush Puppies shoot) and Northern Soul DJ, Jo Wallace supported by The Westcoast and Coombs (Canterbury) Ltd – can’t wait!!

Lounge on the Farm is an award winning festival now entering its 8th year on the idyllic Merton Farm, Canterbury. Its history, like so many romantic tales, begins with a number scribbled on the back of a fag packet. A meeting between a farmer, a DJ and a foodie created the festival that has been a cultural springboard.

This year festival goers will get a taste of 20th-century British Youth Culture as The Dreamland Trust hooks up with The Vintage Pinball Parlour and Jo Wallace, to re-create the vivid sights and sounds of Dreamland artfully dressed by Stuart Atkins and Kiel Shaw at Fontaine Decorative Antiques

We’ll be appearing alongside top music acts, hilarious comedy, captivating cabaret, Victorian funfair, film screenings, the spoken word, theatre, under 12s Little Lounge, carnival and parade, the Science Museum, circus surprises, Peppa Pig, critically acclaimed chefs, Kentish food, refreshing bars, the soothing orchard spa, serious fun and frivolous frolics for all the family, so roll up, roll up, roll up – its time to lounge… Festival details at


We’re starting to see some really exciting branding ideas coming from team Hemingway and it occurred to us that this is an ideal opportunity for Dreamland supporters to make their mark by sending us one word which best describes Dreamland for you.  Go on, give it a go! No cheating though – just one word emailed to


We will be out of the office Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 July setting up at Lounge on the Farm then the office will be closed from Monday 29 July through to Friday 9 September inclusive,  so all enquiries to Mike Nutall at, please.

All at Dreamland HQ would like to wish everyone a jolly summer holiday and hope that we will be returning to a positive, new chapter in the Dreamland story.

Happy Hols!

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