Between mid-day and 3pm on the 16 November 2013, Dreamland opened its gates to the public for the first time since the park officially closed in 2006. Over 2,300 people came to the Dreamland site to meet The Dreamland Trust to learn about Dreamland’s past, present and future and to share their memories and experiences of Dreamland.
On the day, more than 160 people registered to volunteer their time and resources to help rebuild Dreamland. Approximately 80 people potted plants on the site to take home, nurture and return to Dreamland in 2014 to transplant in memory of Dreamland’s 1870s pleasure garden and to create an interpretative green space around ‘Lord’ George Sanger’s Grade II-listed menagerie cages.
In the evening 250 people attended a celebrity fund raising art auction, organised by Fontaine Decorative, in Dreamland’s disused seafront amusement arcade. £25,000 was raised toward transforming the arcade into a Visitor and Learning Centre to deliver the pre-opening Activity Plan programme in spring 2014. The event was a sell out within a week of announcing ticket sales.
On the 30 November 2013 fifty volunteers took part in the Big Clear day to help clear moss, weeds and rubbish from the site. This group included the young, middle aged, retired, physically challenged and people with severe learning difficulties.
These events were designed to mark the successful outcome of the CPO challenge. Their success is an indication of the passion, appetite and support for the project and the pulling power of Dreamland.
Having ended the year on a high note, we are now looking forward to the New Year and a new era for Dreamland under a new, full-time Project Director.
PROJECT UP-DATE FROM THE NEW LANDOWNERS
Our project partner, Thanet District Council, has now released the documents to prospective tenderers for the Grade II*-listed Scenic Railway engineering and trains contract. The next package for the Scenic Railway structure build will be released early in the New Year and the Construction Management contract expressions of interest are now being evaluated.
Meanwhile, rides restoration work continues with David Littleboy and Roger Sibley in Wakefield. We look forward to exhibiting the rides restoration work next year in the Dreamland amusement arcade visitor and learning centre.
VISITOR & LEARNING CENTRE FOR DREAMLAND
With the support and funds raised by Fontaine Decorative, the local community and stakeholders and we have already begun work on the design and content for Dreamland’s Visitor & Learning Centre for Easter 2014.
The former amusement arcade in Dreamland’s Grade II*-listed cinema building will be transformed, by HemingwayDesign and our creative community, into an informative, interactive and fun environment evoking the atmosphere of Dreamland and a taste of things to come in 2015.
Run by a team of volunteer greeters and guides the centre will act as an information point describing Dreamland’s rich history, the rides restoration process and future plans supported by a programme of pop-up events and activities in the build up to Dreamland’s opening.
Up-dates and events will be posted on the website news and events page
MYSTERY AND DRAMA FOR THANET’S SCHOOLS
One of our first activities for January is the launch of a joint project with Powell-Cotton Museum following a successful £15,000 funding bid to Artswork (South East).
Artswork is investing in innovative, bespoke partnerships between the cultural sector and schools that can help facilitate a change in the pattern of school engagement with museum learning and ensure that more children and young people experience the richness of museum-based learning.
Mystery and drama is at the heart of this project, so we can’t reveal too much other than to say our local schools will be embarking on a journey of discovery with some surprising outcomes!
We are delighted to be working with Keith Dunmall at the Powell-Cotton – the heritage links between the museum and Dreamland are really exciting and we look forward to starting the project in the New Year.
THE GARDENT GATE PROJECT
We are very much looking forward to working with The Garden Gate project next year to help grow Dreamland. The project, under the management of Paul Boyce at Northdown Park, is doing some fantastic work with adults with mental health issues and learning difficulties.
A programme of activities is being developed to include growing plants at the Garden Gate, planting at Dreamland and creating animal topiary and green sculptures for Dreamland.
Earlier this year, Canterbury Christ Church University was successful in securing HLF funding to launch the South East Archive of Seaside photography project. Our volunteer archivist is now attached to the SEAS photography project and receiving training and professional development. The SEAS website will eventually have a portal to the Dreamland archive. The Dreamland Visitor & Learning Centre will act as an archive hub for collating and process archive material for both SEAS and the Dreamland archive.
THANET SKILLS STUDIO VISITS DREAMLAND
In spring 2013 a Dreamland presentation given to students at the Thanet Skills Studio ignited an interest in developing skills in restoration. Thanet Skills Studio’s BTEC construction students visited the Dreamland site on the 13 December 2013 and are now working with The Dreamland Trust to develop a HLF Young Roots funding application.
If successful, the programme will include field trips, workshops and skills training with Dreamland’s rides restoration team. The group will be involved in up-cycling and refurbishment of some of Dreamland’s ride parts and artefacts.
STUDENT PROJECTS FOR 2014
Early next year we begin a 3D design unit with the University of Arts foundation students. The Dreamland Trust has written a ‘client brief’ asking for solutions to landscaping using alternatives to organic material, lighting and treatment of moth-balled areas.
We also embark on a twelve week long project with 2nd year Interior Architecture students who are tasked with finding treatments and solutions for the planned Visitor & Learning Centre in Dreamland’s disused seafront amusement arcade due to open Easter 2014.
At the end of this year, catering students at East Kent College were given the challenge to make canapés for a 1930s menu for the fundraising art auction – they were sensational! We look forward to developing training opportunities with the college in the New Year – particularly in the catering department – yum!
Our grateful thanks to Stuart and Kiel at Fontaine Decorative and Carol and Richard at the Harbour Arms for the fundraising activities they have organised this year.
We have an awful lot of people to mention and thank for supporting The Dreamland Trust this year so, to name but a few and in no particular order…
Coombs (Canterbury) Limited
East Kent College
SFL Construction Ltd
Wantsum Brewery Ltd
IOT Scaffolding Ltd
Michael Moyles Builders
Morgan’s of Margate
Cup Cake Cafe
Classics for Occasions
Outside the Square
Age & Sons
More than Yoga
Blue Swift Gallery
Russell’s of Clapton
Two Spoons Catering
Beachview Guest House
Visitor Information Centre
Andrew Baker, Daisy, Charlie and Anna
Lounge on the Farm
Theatre Royal’s cast of Cinderella
Richard & Carol
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Sarah Vickery and Min