19 Jun 2015

Margate’s Dreamland funfair – where retro reigns

Twelve years and £18m went into reinvigorating the Dreamland fun fair in Margate – a project meant to reawaken Britain’s love affair with the beach resort, masterminded by designer Wayne Hemingway.

It took hundreds of campaigners and over a decade to make it a reality, but Margate’s Dreamland funfair has finally reopened under the creative auspices of legendary British designer Wayne Hemingway.

The reinvigorated beach resort features more than 17 restored vintage rides including a roller disco, pleasure gardens, restaurants, arcades and amusements, all harking back to a “golden age” of the British seaside.

But this is just the beginning – stage one of four, that will see the ballroom reopen alongside an outdoor event space and dance studio later this year.

The centrepiece of the seafront park, the Grade II*-listed, timber-framed Scenic Railway, is still being restored.

Regarded as one of the oldest rollercoasters of its kind in the world, it was seriously damaged in an arson attack in 2008 after being closed down two years earlier.

Having created hundreds of jobs during the renovation, Dreamland attracted huge crowds on its reopening and looks likely to wow new visitors for many more years to come.

Vintage images courtesy of Thanet Council