Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Historic moment for Dreamland as refurbishment begins on Britain’s oldest surviving rollercoaster

Work to restore Britain’s oldest surviving rollercoaster to its former glory starts next week marking another significant milestone for Dreamland.
From Monday 15 September, the iconic Grade II* listed Scenic Railway is being lovingly restored by contractors Topbond Plc. Group on behalf of Thanet District Council. 
Workmen will undertake an intricate programme of work to restore the historic structure, ahead of the opening of a re-imagined Dreamland amusement park next year (2015).

Initial work recording the building and structure for historic purposes has already started, but from next week begins in earnest with the dismantling of the buildings and structure on a phased programme - commencing from the motor house moving north.

Restoration will include the replacement of the foundations on which the newly fabricated timber trusses will be erected. Secondary timber structures will then be fixed to the main structure. All the works will systematically follow the scenic in a clockwise direction.

Leader of Thanet District Council Cllr Iris Johnston said, ‘It is very exciting to see work start on Britain’s oldest surviving rollercoaster. The Scenic Railway is synonymous with Dreamland and the Council is very proud to be leading the way, breathing life into Dreamland once again.”

Eddie Kemsley, Project Director at Dreamland, said “This is an important milestone in Dreamland’s history and is symbolic of the enormous achievement of the Dreamland Trust’s ‘Save Dreamland’ campaign. Work on the Scenic Railway is one of many crucial steps in our work towards opening a re-imagined Dreamland”.

During the re-building works, The Dreamland Trust will continue to host an exhibition on Dreamland’s history and future. The Dreamland Expo: a past, present and future, describes the revivial of Dreamland – one of the UK’s best loved amusement parks and has to date welcomed more than 25,000 visitors. The Dreamland Expo is free and open weekends from 10am to 5pm. For more information, please or call 01843 295 887.

Throughout the autumn and winter months, the Arcade will be available for pre-booked school visits, community activities, student projects, research, presentations and tours – for more information please email

Ahead of the anticipated 2015 opening, award-winning designer, Wayne Hemingway MBE, is working to create a unique vintage-style amusement park; with attractions from thrill rides to classic sideshows alongside cafes, restaurants and retail spaces. Once open, the park will play host to large-scale events, national festivals and visiting attractions to celebrate the history of popular British culture, music, film and design. 

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