On completion of Thanet District Council’s Dreamland site assessment and surveys, The Dreamland Trust will be able to gain access to carry out a final inventory of what items remain from the collection of ride parts salvaged by the Save Dreamland Campaign – most of these items were earmarked for up-cycling.
In the meantime we are pleased to confirm that over the past twelve months The Dreamland Trust has been in the process of acquiring ten historic thrill rides plus two original, iconic rides returning Dreamland for the opening line up. New additions include:
Austin Car Ride
This is one of the most popular juvenile rides where young children can ‘drive’ a car on their own!
In 1948 parliament passed an act acknowledging pneumoconiosis in Welsh minors rendering them unable to work in the mines. Chairman of Austin Motors, Leonard Lord, created an employment opportunity for disabled minors to work by building a factory to produce children’s pedal cars in the Austin style – the Austin J40. Showmen came up with the idea of fixing the cars onto roundabouts making the J40 accessible to many children.
Muffin the Mule
This ride was built around 1949 by R J Lakin & Company of Streatham for S & J Thurston and decorated by chief artist, Edwin Hall. Originally this ride had streamlined cars in which children could ride, but in the 1950s the popularity of a certain children’s television puppet saw the cars changed to Muffin the Mules.
Double Decker Rocket Ride
An unusual children’s ride which in addition to the conventional platform mounted toys at ground level, also features an upper deck of Rocket cars adding double the fun! The idea was patented by north eastern showman, James A Crow, in the late 1940s, and the rides were built under licence by Orton & Spooner of Burton on Trent.
The delight of this 1950s ride is that the rider can control the elevation of the cars by the operation of a joystick. Built by the Langwheels Company of Middlesex, these popular rides could be found in many amusement parks, including Dreamland, although the one we have acquired has spent its life on the travelling fairs.
The Historic Rides Collection is held in safe, off-site storage. The opening rides line-up will be supported by visiting and guest vintage rides and attractions.
The Dreamland Trust also holds a collection of historic amusement park and fairground artefacts and paraphernalia currently in secured off-site storage plus the Dreamland Archive, which is being transferred to Canterbury Christ Church University where it will become accessible via the SEAS Photographic project website at http://www.seasphotography.org.uk/.
A collection of penny slot machines has been sourced for The Dreamland Trust this summer and includes a number original 1950s Dreamland amusement arcade machines.