BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

28 October 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Kent


Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Dreamland - Margate's attraction closes
Dreamland in Margate.
Dreamland dominated Margate's seafront

Margate's famous Dreamland Fun Park has been sold and the days of the funfair are over. What are your memories of a day out at the beach?

This message board is now closed. Thank you for your submissions.

arrowSee the Dreamland picture gallery
arrowVideo Nation: Martin talks about Margate 

More nostalgia going. Lots of good times at Dreamland..when I was small and "beanos" when I was older lol Was it my imagination or do I remember there being a small animal zoo there? On the left hand side after u went thru the entrance. Dreamland should be open, after all thats what everyone went to Margate for.
Sat Aug 13 08:52:40 2005

Alex (Bromley)
'this year i'll b coming to Marg8 2 c if Dreamland has gone yet
Wed Jul 27 12:09:33 2005

david london
margate theme park has alot of potentialshould the closure ofbenbom brothers take place istrongly feelmargate has lost a special part of its history good luck to all campaigners
Tue Jul 26 12:46:14 2005

Alex, Bromley
"i just relised that closing down a well known theme park dosn't really matter after all! There are such more better places in england as well u no!
Fri Jul 15 15:36:47 2005

Wed Jul 13 13:58:55 2005

p brownlow llanelli
maybe Mr. godden would like to buy stonehenge or the houses of parliment and convert them to shops and houses. Don't be daft you say, but losing britains oldest scenic railway a piece of history to make one rich man even richer. times change but we make room for the best of the past. on a practical note if he has to take it down he has to rebuild the railway in a new countryside themepark maybe with other traditional rides consined to the scrapheap. then protected there for all time for all people.
Wed Jul 6 21:06:30 2005

lorain massachusetts America
i used to live in margate till i moved to america in 1968.I loved going to Dreamland going on the ghost train and the upsidedown house.It is a shame it is closing it was the one big attraction that Margate had.Tues July 5 2005.
Tue Jul 5 21:21:00 2005

Rosalind Kendall, Oldbury, West Midlands.
The first holiday that we had in Margate I was just eleven year's that was way back in 1965 and the place was buzzing. I liked it that much that I ran away from home aged 15 to work in a Fish & Chip shop on the corner of Zion Place, Clifftonville and enjoyed every minute of it. Over the years I have visited frequently and have seen the decline in popularity. It was a big blow when the Lido in Clifftonville was shut down and now Dreamland what on earth is happening to great family holidays. The fun that I used to have at Dreamland was amazing and disco dancing on a Saturday night in the Dreamland's dance hall was the best ever. The Lido collasped because of money and I guess this is what is happening to the Fun Park. I am sorry to say if Margate and its little surrounding towns have nothing to offer then people will no longer visit as already friends of mine have said they would not entertain the idea of having another holiday in the area as there are to many DSS people on the streets and why should they pay hard earned money on hotels when scroungers can live there for free. I am really sorry that Dreamland is going but I hope somebody who remembers good family holidays will make there mark by puttin it back to it's former glory and lets hope that someone can do the same for it neigbouring town's too.
Mon Jul 4 14:28:24 2005

Dreamland margate
Dreamland is the one thing thing that brought families to margate and without that it will be forgot just in the same way Ramsgate has been when they closed the rides there. I have to young children and loved comming to margate but without dreamland I have to find eleswhere to go which is a real same. All people are interested in is making money and they forget about the children and history. Susan Anderson, London
Thu Jun 30 09:45:29 2005

Hazel, London
I cannot believe Dreamland is closing down. If it closes, Me and my friends (and everyone i know for that matter), are never coming to margate again. what's the point if there's nothing to do there? i can go to the cinemas or go shopping in london, but that's just boring. If they take away dreamland, it will be THE biggest mistake in history. they don't realise what a goldmine it is, and how much sentiment people have for it.
Tue Jun 28 15:26:02 2005

Alex , Bromley
i remember the very very first time i went to margate i spent nearly an hour and a half traveling down to margate with my family and the minute i got there dreamland was the very first place i went to and went on every ride and i extreamley enjoyed myself and since then i've kept going down to dreamland. i've nearly spent all my life going down to and hanging around margate and dreamland having a good time with my mates and i think it's such apalling to close down such a well known grate area where everyone can go and have such a great time and Margates attraction has to close down, "what the hell for?!
Tue Jun 21 13:10:35 2005

Phil ex-Canterbury
In the late 1970s, a sunny Saturday meant a family outing to Margate. My Dad used to phone the police before we left Canterbury, careful to avoid any skinhead/mod/rocker trouble which was a regular seafront fixture at the time! Spluttering towards Thanet in our Reilly Kestrel, my sister and I would scan the horizon for the Reculver Towers - the first visible sign we were close to paradise! Once the towers had been spotted, we'd look out for the tower block in Margate with excitement reaching unbearable levels in the back seat. Being a sensible type, Dad always parked the car about three miles from the beach to avoid the attention of the undesirables that lurked with intent along the length of the golden strip. The entrance to Dreamland itself was a strange tunnel of flashing lights, arcade games and dodgems. We'd walk through this towards the rides with the smell of burgers, candy floss and vomit building the anticipation to fever pitch. Emerging into the light inside Dreamland proper, we'd marvel at the wonders of the carousel, the water chute and of course, the Scenic Railway. My mum, eyes glazed over, would vanish in the direction of the penny arcades, clutching a bag of 1p and 2p coins leaving the two kids and our father to hit the rides. In those days you had to queue and pay for each attraction - apart from the adrenalin-pumping remote control boats, of course. We'd always save the best 'til last so after hysterically laughing/screaming our way round the Ghost Train, Water Chute, Caterpillar and Slippery Dip, we'd hit the Scenic Railway just as it was getting dark. To compensate for the disappointment of finishing the final thrill, we'd be taken to a chip shop called the Happy Fillet. Cod'n'chips for the grown ups and a less adventurous sausage and chips for the kids. By the time my teens came along in the mid-Eighties, I was allowed to get the train from Canterbury West to Margate with a few friends - I couldn't be seen out with my big sister at that age! After acting all angelic on the way to the station in the family car (a fancy Ford Escort Mk IV), we'd ditch our halos as soon as the car was out of sight and try our best to look as hard and street-wise as all the other lads heading for the coast. Dreamland was now Bembom Brothers and remote control boats were eclipsed by the Big Wheel, Mary Rose and the Looping Star Great America. Acting all tough, we'd stroll up to the turnstiles for all the scariest rides giving off an air of world-weary stunt heroes belying the butterflies I'm sure we all felt in our stomachs. I'll never forget jumping off the Looping Star and sprinting round to queue again, giggling like the children we were too proud to admit we still were. I should be ashamed to say it, but I'm not, misbehaviour was the order of the day at Margate back then. Nothing serious, just throwing chips at gangs of girls from the rides and generally running riot to annoy the happy families. We were young and that's what you do at that age... I apologise now to anyone we upset. Bembom Brothers closed before dark so the magic atmosphere of a traditional fairgound lit by multi-coloured bulbs had vanished. I soon realised girls weren't just for throwing chips at and my days of Radion 1 Road Shows followed by a puke on the Pirate Ship came to and end. At eighteen I left Kent for London and at twenty five I left England for good. Since then I've travelled the world, seen all manner of fantastic sights and experienced more thrills than I could ever have known existed as a young lad in Canterbury but no matter how hard I try I don't think I'll ever forget days out in Margate. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to offers.
Mon Jun 20 19:05:54 2005

vicki london
i only recently discoverd dreamland and its fantasic! me n my m8s av a gr8 laugh there! without it i doubt we'd visit marg8 nemore! fair grounds like dreamland r what British summer is about! Don't let it go!!!!
Sun Jun 12 11:18:17 2005

Joey, sydney
I used to live in the UK and holidays to dreamland were brilliant, something to really look forward to as ab kid. it would be such a shame to see it go, it's a national treasure!!
Sat Jun 11 19:04:33 2005

jenny n jenna
dont close dreamland its the only thing we have down here 4 us. its summin fun4 all ages, young n old, n u cant giv us nuffin 2 do n then moan we r terrorisin da streets!! in conclusion, keep it open!!! ta da!
Sat Jun 11 18:57:51 2005

Beach Babes margate
Every day in the summer last year i was at dreamland and it was wicked i made loadz of friends and even meet my boyfriend there this just goes to show you its well loved and a great place to socialise and meet new people so plz keep it open its great
Wed Jun 8 11:57:58 2005

Wed Jun 8 11:52:34 2005

Asha 'n' Zoe Canterbury
plz dnt close dreamland down its bad enough avin to go to marg8 let alone avin to go up 2 london. KEEP IT OPEN!!!! LUV US!
Wed Jun 8 11:47:37 2005

Dan 'n' Ben
Wed Jun 8 11:44:30 2005

B.Boy London
Hi I've heard from me mates in ramsgate that there closing dreamland down i can't believe there even considering it dreamland is wicked ive bin going there science i was alittle boy and have lots of great memories so plz don't close it down!!!! Cheers!!!1
Wed Jun 8 11:41:04 2005

Sam Ramsgate
dreamlands the best! so it sud neva b closed dwn we'd b very lost wiv out it n marg8 wud not b marg8 wiv out it so do us ALL a favour n KEEP IT OPEN cheers luv ya loadz dreamland!
Mon Jun 6 13:00:53 2005

Jade london
Don't close dreamland!!!! its well good coming down the coast with my mates going to dreamland were always guaranted loads of fun so please keep it open!!!!
Mon Jun 6 12:50:59 2005

aimee n jen marg8
i think that dreamland should stay open its the only thing for our age group we would be really sad to see it go so PLZ KEEP IT OPEN!!!! WE LUV YA DREAMLAND!!!! bring back the wristbands!!!!
Mon Jun 6 12:39:52 2005

karn - ramsgate
i think it should stay open cause it is a great atraction to all aged people like my self! DONT CLOSE DOWN!PLEASE!
Mon May 30 14:11:10 2005

Paul Monaghan, London
To close Dreamland would mean that even more day trippers from London and the South East would choose places like Brighton and and Great Yarmouth as family seaside resorts to visit, these resorts would have more to offer the visitor with so many different attractions even when the weather is not so good. The loss of Dreamland would see a decline in visitor numbers and a further loss in jobs. No one wants to visit a supermarket, flats or a cinema when they go to the seaside. DO NOT make the same mistake as Southend, Margate could become the Blackpool of the south, but with a sunny sandy beach. Plus, a resort with the oldest wooden Rollercoaster in the UK, you've got the means for a great resort, and a great day out, all you need is the vision, Mr Godden PLEASE OPEN YOUR EYES, let future generations enjoy the delights of Dreamland, sell it to someone who has that vision. 28th May 2005
Sat May 28 15:01:32 2005

chelsea dumpton
i thought that dream land is great for opening again do you know that they spent over £20,000 on the senic railway
Sat May 21 14:03:06 2005

Jemma Cheltenham
I love dreamland and no holiday to kent is the same without it. I won a bear on the grabber machines in there with just 20p! It can't go, it's my favourite place in the whole world!!! Margate just won't be the same without it!!! :-)
Wed May 18 13:46:59 2005

john london
i first visited DREAMLAND during the summer of 2003 and although it looked quite old and scruffy you could see that it had been a big and exiting theme park in its previous years.if it would be as successful in 2005 as it was during the bembon years then what would be the point in closing it down after all of its successful years as one of the best seaside theme parks.
Sat May 14 22:40:53 2005

Roo Kent
I heard from alot of reliable sources (alot of websites) that dreamland is re-opening on 21st May 2005! Good eh???!!!
Thu May 12 18:36:36 2005

Laura, Isle of Man
I have only just read that it is maybe going to close. Some of my happiest memories are of working at Dreamland, mostly in MR.G's on the seafront. I have always regretted leaving Margate when I did but always thought I could go back. It is a shock to realise that maybe now I never can. I'll miss you, Dreamland.
Thu May 12 16:37:58 2005

Steve, Margate
As far as I am concerned they can do whatever they want with it. I have lived next to it for years and suffered the perpetual screaming of those scared dreamlanders, not to mention those noisy old mechanical rides. We have been complaining about that for years and nobody ever took any notice then, so whatever you complain about now will be the same non response from whoever is responsible. A cultural centre would be nice or a library anything quiet.
Thu Apr 28 19:52:17 2005

Larry, Benidorm.
I grew up in Margate. Bembom brothers or Dreamland as it has been known, was always good for tourists or for Londoners on beanos, so yes good for tourism in the area. But think of all those poor Margatarians, without anything to do with tourism, who get no other benefit from such attractions, than some drunkard vomiting on his doorstep and starting a squabble. So get rid of the theme park get rid of all those bland issues and concentrate on solidifying the future of this dilapidated old town. Instead of all this here today gone tomorrow rubbish. Had Margate a cathedral this would never have happened. Field Marshal Larry Travis Mrs
Thu Apr 28 01:29:29 2005

steve london
Love to see some photos of dreamland pre 1980 what happened to the big wheel where did it end up?
Thu Apr 21 06:24:38 2005

Cassie Ramsgate
save dreamland and bring back SIMON, JP and HAPPY JOHN on the Scenic railway
Mon Apr 18 20:46:53 2005

Ian, Ramsgate
Put it back how it use to be or even better do the vision of Jean-Marc Toussaint and it will look so lovely. All I can say is Margates nothing without Dreamland and Thanet District Council surely cant afford to lose it
Fri Apr 15 10:51:42 2005

Phil, Margate
About time it was closed, its a blight on the landscape and hold back the town.
Tue Mar 29 16:01:48 2005

dreamland margate
my momories was going on all the rides and having a good day out and we would like it to stay open
Mon Mar 28 18:45:20 2005

Chris, Sydney
The Looping Star was the first rollercoaster I ever went on and I was terrified. I have fond memories of summer trips to Margate when I was 8-9. It seems a shame that someone is not willing to put a decent amount of investement into such a historic themepark. I am returning to Kent from Sydney on holiday and I will no longer have a reason to vist Margate.
Fri Mar 25 06:57:47 2005

Claire - Suffolk
Confused - this site says the land has been sold to developers (isnt everything??), but the 'Save Dreamland' site has a posting from only 2 days ago which says it'll be open for business in 2005????
Sat Mar 19 13:01:33 2005

Lucy - London
As a child every year my inner-city school would take us on a daytrip to Margate - and it really was the highlight of the year. Now as an adult I was looking for something fun to do for the weekend and stumbled across the news item that Dreamland is no longer - how sad.
Wed Mar 16 13:29:41 2005

Danny from New zealand
I have fond memories of our day trips to margate Im very saddend to see dreamland close margate is margate with out it
Sat Mar 12 01:29:48 2005

bradley margate
i think you should re-open dreamland for next summer because it is a great place for the children who live in the local please open it for all them children who loved going to dreamland. DONT CLOSE IT DOWN
Wed Mar 2 16:51:44 2005

Colleen, Maidstone
As a child our yearly trip to Margate and DREAMLAND was VERY much looked forward to. My parents couldn't afford a holiday so this day trip meant a lot to all of us. Now at 49 and with my own children,and after travelling abroad to several countries Margate and DREAMLAND appeals as much to my children as it did,and still does, to myself as a child. I think Margate has because of dreamland always captured the essence of what a british,seaside holiday should be.
Fri Feb 18 13:44:01 2005

Adam Brimmer Luton
I think they shouldn't close Dreamland because it is a great fun fair for children at all ages and it's great for people who are having a nice break in Margate. My Grandmother who lives in Dumpton,Ramsgate takes me to Margate when I'm on holiday in Ramsgate.First we go on the beach, then we go into the amusement arcades to have a go on the machines and finally we go into Dreamland.I go on rides such as the famous Scenic Railway, Wildmouse, Go-Karts, Waterchute etc. But why should it be closed and ruin other peoples fun. So please Mr Gooden do not close down Dreamland or Margate will get more boring. If you do close it down the only other nearest fun fair would be at Brighton. If you don't close it down you will get more and more visitors. Pleese don't close it?
Thu Feb 3 18:49:50 2005

Patrick Lincoln
Born in Ramsgate, I always liked to visit Margate Beach/Pier and of course Dreamland. I came across this site searching for what is going to happen to the area that was once Merry England, this of course has been demolished - I know that these entertainment are old but if one could bring them up to date I am sure they would attract visitors to SE Kent, just makes me sad to see the Coastal Town fall into decay. I don't think this Turner Centre will attract the average sort families.
Wed Jan 26 15:16:29 2005

Bernard, Ramsgate
Closing Dreamland is a travesty and I think that the site has so much potential. I have enough ideas that would regenerate this site and make it a premier funfair in the UK, the only problem is I dont have the millions to do it with. I beleive, Mr Godden, that you are interested in developing the site for housing and from a business perspective I can understand why the quick buck is more attractive than investing in the heritage and traditions of the area you have slowly destroyed.
Mon Jan 24 12:56:07 2005

andrew scott
dreamland shouldnt close for torist reasons
Thu Jan 20 09:51:42 2005

Richard, Broadstairs
i say reopen dreamland and put better rides and cleaner facilities as the last time i was down the skip yard looked cleaner! and ramsgate former pleasurama site which got burned down funny old thing. whats all that about by putting flats there, it will look ugly! try putting an ice rink r something dirrerent. also the tunnels that remain under ramsgate, if they opened them up as a tourist attraction, you would get people visiting as they hold alot of history. pitty we havent got the pleasurama building to add on but the carriages that used to run are still at hollycombe railway tourist attraction!
Sun Dec 26 23:22:43 2004

laura halcoop from south wales
i thinhk thta dreamland shold close down because there will nothing for the children and i lived in kent for 11 years and i went down there every week end and i still go there when i am down there on holiday
Wed Dec 8 12:08:06 2004

rpb medway
Why oh why are we loosing another part of our heritage? all the future generations have a right to enjoy a good old fashioned fun fair by the sea side like we have been able to. i have many wonderful memories of dreamland/ben bon brothers so why cant whats left be saved and built up again into a thriving theme park like it was not that long ago. If the owners dont want it why dont they sell it to some-one who does who can return it to its full glory. Lets hope it opens again in the summer of 2005 I will be taking my family again as I always do.
Fri Dec 3 00:42:37 2004

Vivien Blackmore. Swindon Wilts
I have just found out that it was one of my distant relatives that built Dreamland, Lord George Sanger. Considering the age of the rides at Dreanland, also the location, it would be a travisty to remove another part of OUR heritage, which has been loved by so many. Modern parks that are full of High tech rides, are right in the right enviroment. But at a sea side location, Merry go rounds, Scenic railways and the like are what Sea side towns like Margets are! I do hope that Dreamland survives to open again in 2005.
Mon Nov 22 20:55:31 2004

michael pye.medway
since the americans left manston margate has declined sadly into a last minute resort.if dreamland was turned into a theme park Im sure it would make margate prosper again, as there being no theme park anywhere in the south east area, people travel for miles to go to one and for margate the hotels would prosper again posible the economy would rise all round. It would also be an advantage if the pier was rebuilt as many people enjoy a walk along one and go for a drink or a meal, fishing or relax,majority of coast towns what prosper have a pier, its a natural,relaxing attraction and can lead on to boat rides etc. I hear also that the old ;ship inn; now demolished maybe turned into an arts centre and retail site. how many holiday people want to go on holiday to an art centre? and why a retail site when westwood already has a fair retail park, and a large site is already being built.this will bring more shoppers to kent also but keep traffic congestion out of margate.yes margate has changed but I would like to see for the better.
Fri Nov 12 15:26:14 2004

chris ramsgate
to mr goulden why did you shut down dreamland i allways went there and i realy liked it there why did tou shut it down and you cant take the seenike railway down.
Wed Nov 10 13:21:04 2004

ryan broadstairs
Please do not close it for ever please do not do it bring rides from the rotunder park becase dreamland is better than the rotunder park in foksten plese bring them for 2005 golden if you do not open dreamland in 2005 i will be very very very unhappy so if you dont want it eny more sell it for 2 milion pounds do it many many many thankes from ryan
Wed Nov 10 13:14:58 2004

reg faversham
leave it alone mmake it as it was
Sun Nov 7 23:05:50 2004

david care broadstairs
open dreamland in 2005 golden please it is the best fun park in the wold if you dont want to run it eny more put it up for sale please golden take my advise thank you
Thu Nov 4 12:34:06 2004

Dreamland Margate
Such wonderful memories of Dreamland. The centre of Margate and vital to the prosperity of the place. The Thanet coast is superb and perhaps if Dreamland could be revived to something of it`s original glory, more people would visit again and realise how lovely that coast is. It could also help stop the decline in the number of hotels and guest houses, or do they make more money for DSS customers as well. Money seems to be at the root of everything of course, but surely heritage is also important. We sincerely hope that Dreamland will be like a Phoenix and rise again magnificently. Wouldn`t it be great if someone like the Bishop family from Walpole Bay Hotel could come along and do to Dreamland what they are striving to do at the hotel. I am sure they are also interested in making a living but they are at least building onwards and not destroying as the owners of Dreamland seem to want to. Please Mr. Godden if you really don`t want Dreamland, sell it to someone who does- someone who will keep it and build it up again, not destroy it. D. Moor, West Wickham
Tue Nov 2 21:12:01 2004

Top | Messageboard Index | Home

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy