Dreamland: Britain's oldest amusement park is set to reopen this summer in Margate

Boycie attended the park to share memories with locals of when the Only Fools and Horses cast filmed 'The Jolly Boys' Outing'

Friday 27 March 2015 18:51 GMT
John Challis, aka Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, visits the park
John Challis, aka Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, visits the park

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen in June of this year after being closed for 10 years.

An £18m refurbishment has taken place with some of the original rides being restored. The star attraction Grade II-listed scenic railway, which was damaged in arson attacks in 2008, has been returned to its former glory.

The Scenic Railway has been restored. Pictured here in 2007
The Scenic Railway has been restored. Pictured here in 2007

In its prime the park was a 16-acre site that held a zoo, miniature railway, bars, cafes shops restaurants and a 2,200 seat purpose built cinema.

John Challis, who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, attended the park today to share memories with locals of when the cast filmed 'The Jolly Boys' Outing'.

The reopening has been welcomed by the local community, who have campaigned effortlessly to save the iconic park. Fighting off a proposed housing and retail developments, The Dreamland Trust, a local lobby group set up to get the park reopened, secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Government's SeaChange Scheme.

Dreamland Margate opening its doors again is a massive boost to the seaside town as it will create 200 new jobs in hospitality and retail, and is seen as the latest stage in the Margate regeneration project. In 2011 the Turner Contemporary gallery was opened, while new hotel openings and restaurants have also improved the image of the town.

The all new Dreamland has been revamped by the designer Wayne Hemingway and will have a vintage theme throughout, with helter skelters, a roller disco, as well as a few brand new rides and rollercoasters.

Tickets for the park went on sale to crowds of locals at 8am, and online at 10am today, which caused the website to crash from demand.

The first 500 people to purchase tickets received a prized memento - a cube of wood made from the original railway planks.

Tickets cost £14.95 for adults and £12.95 for children, are available at www.dreamlandmargate.com.

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