Home Kent News Relive 1980s Dreamland in rare footage showing park’s lost rides

Relive 1980s Dreamland in rare footage showing park’s lost rides

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Original article from Kent Live

If you don't want just a trip down memory lane, why not take a long, bumpy ride down there instead?

It's perfect timing as the pleasure park celebrated its 100th birthday last year.

While a leisure venue has existed on the Margate site since the 1870s, it was not until 1920 that John Henry Iles transformed it into the pleasure garden and amusement park we know today.

It was then that he created Dreamland and opened the famous Scenic Railway to the public.

Now KentLive has uncovered some incredible vintage footage of Dreamland back in its heyday, allowing those who visited the park back in the 1980s and 1990s to not just reminisce, but actively relive their childhood summers.

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The video, posted on YouTube by user imansfield, is originally 12 minutes in length and shows the Margate park at the height of its popularity back in the summer of 1989.

This happens to be the same year the park provided the backdrop for part of the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special The Jolly Boys Outing.

Taking in the park from all angles, the footage showcases the park's lost rides which made the Bembom Brother's incarnation of Dreamland so famous – including old favourite The Looping Star.

The park was first taken over by the Bembom Brothers in 1981, who quickly turned the area into a white-knuckle theme park.

They re-named Dreamland the Bembom Brothers Theme Park and the public were excited by the arrival of a slew of new rides, including the looping coaster the Looping Star.

There was also a Pirate Ship, the Ladybird children's coaster and Cinema 2000, which was an early 3-D cinema set up.

The Bembom's new approach meant that all the park's bars were closed to create a more family-friendly environment. The major change for most, which is particularly relevant now in 2017, was the introduction of an admission charge.

Once you were in all the rides were free, though the charge meant that many local youths who may go for one or two rides were priced out of a visit.

However, this didn't deter all of them, as many came up with schemes for sneaking in for free or sharing one paid-for hand stamp with a number of friends.

Dreamland got its full name back in 1990, when the Bembom Brothers decided that a minor revamp would be best promoted by the name that most still recognised and used to describe the park.

More greenery was added to the landscape around the rides and the cinema was renovated.

The Only Fools and Horses cast at Dreamland in the late 1980s

Free admission to the site also returned in 1995, though it was not long before the Bemboms were moving on, as Dreamland was sold on to Jimmy Godden, owner of the Rotunda amusement park in Folkestone.

You can see the full video here.

Original Article