Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back from Butlins

Where we've been for the last two days, moonlightings as red-coats. Not quite though and it only took just over the hour to get back to Thanet, where the sun is shining a little more brightly than it was when I left the famous resort, with some sultry afternoon showers threatening the beaches.

Butlins, like everywhere else, appears to have been taken over by the Polish service industry, an unusual contrast of strong Eastern European and Yorkshire accents.

One thing that did stand out was of course the amusement park, the life and soul of the resort and heaving with people, markedly drawing the contrast with the gap in Margate seafront that was once called Dreamland; I've just caught the news that the Dreamland cinema is to close in November.

If Skegness can thrive as a British resort, Like Blackpool and Brighton, there must be hope for Margate but it's going to take rather more than an aircraft flying a banner along the beaches I suspect!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

anon again!
come on Doctor, most seaside towns are BETTER than Thanet's efforts. Even Hastings!!!
Trouble is, nobody gives a damn around here (prompt). You have your saga group, who are too scared to go out!(day or night). The idiot chavvy lout element who beat up & rob you rather than make an honest decent living. People who drive in daily from far away places to work at Westwood Cross, because the locals don't want to.
It really is Thanet Rot personified that you have to cure before suitable changes can be made here.
Get rid of the muck at the top, get something good going, the rest will soon follow!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more about the shambles on the Dreamland site that Waterbridge seem to have engineered for their own purposes to "prove that a vigorous thriving amusement park is not achievable". My great disappointment is the way the Save Dreamland campaign has altered since I first visited their blog spot 20 months ago. In Jan 2006 they were a vigorous and effective campaign and now they have become a self promoting 'heritage' group who just happen to have a thing for antiquated rickety old rides and that is what they have sold TDC! Who is kidding whom that a 'heritage' park filled with old rides they have acquired already is the great future attraction to come to Margate for. We missed the opportunity to listen to our Independent Planning Inspector and have ignored his advice and we missed the opportunity to compulsory purchase and develop with go ahead Amusement Park operators. There will still be a Goddens Gap and unlawful security fencing around an empty eyesore that used to be Dreamland this time next year and a boarded up eyesore of an Arlington Arcade as the first impression of Margate for road and rail travellers to the town. There will also still be the signs on the Thanet Way by the St.Nicholas Roundabout directing us to a Non existent Dreamland and non-existent Turner Centre.

Anonymous said...

I hope that Cosmo restaurant isn't closing down as well, its the best 4.95 lunch I know of round here.

Anonymous said...

Amusements Parks are so over! Demolish Arlington House. Forget about Dreamland-rip-off-second-rate-50's-time-warp-entertainment.Forget about flea pit scroat cinema. Build a Water park and Aquarium.

Anonymous said...

A thriving amusement park, retro or otherwise, is Margate's best hope of a revival and the Save Dreamland Campaign is to be congratulated for the work it has done so far. It should be noted that the two leading lights of this campaign are not local to the area. One lives in Wantage and the other bravely moved to Margate from London rather than set up a business in far more prosperous Bournemouth. Would anyone from Thanet have bothered to set up such a campaign four years ago when D'land's closure was first announced?
I said privately to several people four years ago that Dreamland's best hope was a retro amusement park with original wooden and 1950s rides, modified to current safety standards and I'm glad this looks like being a real possibility.
Like it or not, Margate and Dreamland go hand in glove - one can't do without the other and there is great potential for a retro park in Margate now. Provided it is built and marketed properly that is.
My firm belief is that Dreamland never has, and never should, try to compete with the Thorpe Parks and Alton Towers of this world but offer good, honest family fun and thrills using rides which are difficult to find elsewhere.
If only the money squandered so far on Turner Centre had been spent on Dreamland then things would be on the way to receovery by now.
Incidentally, someone mentioned Hastings earlier. I was there a week ago and was impressed with the way the seafront looks these days. At one end you have a decent looking funfair and as you progress along the promenade - and I can recommend the clearly marked off road cycle route - one has a good feeling that the town has turned a corner in its fortunes. Buildings appear clean and in good nick with no sign of graffiti or rubbish and plenty of families enjoying a stroll or cycle ride. Hastings too has had its share of dole-on-sea problems in recent years but my impression is that things are different now. Perhaps a false one but my first, and important, impression was that Hastings is a pleasant coastal town and Margate would do well to learn the lessons.

Nick, Whitstable

Anonymous said...

Sorry but Hastings has been in a terrible state for years and to say Margate can't do without Dreamland is nonsense.
Margate must come to terms with the fact that the kiss me quick Brit seaside town does not exist anymore. Time to move on but Margate can't because of this determined clinging to the past.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
I agree, Hastings has been in a bad way for years...... but they chucked out the 'safe' Council members, who took money and delivered NOTHING.... then it started going good for it.