Margate, Kent, England, UK

Closed 2005 

The Disappointed Tourist: Dreamland (Margate), Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Dreamland is an amusement park in Margate. It was developed from a previous park called Hall by the Sea that opened in 1880. The name Dreamland was first used in 1920 when the park’s Grade II Listed Scenic Railway woodenrollercoaster first opened. Developer John Henry Iles intended the name to refer to the famous park in Coney Island. In 1981 the site was sold to the Dutch Bembom brothers, who renamed it Bembom Brothers White Knuckle Theme Park. The park was renamed Dreamland in 1990 and started to decline. It was sold to Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company in 2005 and closed that year. Residents objected to the proposed residential redevelopment and the shuttered park fell into disrepair and survived a number of arson attacks. In 2013, the Thanet District Council purchased the park and it was reopened in 2015. The operating company went bankrupt in less than six months, but the park continued to operate and was reopened again in 2017. The painting is based on an uncredited photograph.

Requested by Anon. & Kimberley D.