- Holidays and Celebrations
Margate And Dreamland Wonderful Memories of Childhood by The Sea
I love the coast, and every year when I was a child, my parents took me and my brother to Margate and Westgate a lovely seaside resort situated on the East coast of England in Kent. We looked forward to going for weeks, knowing that it was going to be magical. We always stayed in Westgate, the next town up from Margate, and both were our playgrounds. The beaches were beautiful, with high cliffs all along the sea front. We could walk for miles and play on the sand. I remember my brother always headed for the cliffs to fly his kite with our dad, and I would drag my mother down to the beach and sit there for hours just staring at the sea and getting a lovely tan.
At that time there was a really long pier, with amusements and candy floss, toys to buy and just about anything else you needed to have a great day, or week by the sea.
Wonderful Footage Of Dreamland 50s and 60s by kester1940
by waynix YouTube
The best tourist attraction they had was Dreamland Amusement Park. It was built around 1880 and It was the most magical place in the whole world. I can remember it as if it were yesterday. We would walk along the beach and then climb up the wooden steps to cross over and come face to face with the entrance. The feeling of excitement couldn't be matched by anything else on earth.
There was a slight incline down into the park, and as we walked into the building that housed the entrance, there were loads of little shops and booths along the sides. Being so small we had to look up at them, and as the darkness overtook the sunlight we could see all these little booths lit up with lights, selling the most amazing things.
We took great delight in the booth that sold Vampire teeth, scary rubber masks such as Frankenstein and witches, and just about anything else that would terrify our parents! But the one thing we always bought were the werewolf gloves! Then, clutching our new toys, we would head into the Park through double doors and emerge into a world of sheer magic.
There were lights in the trees, that sparkled all along the length of the Park, and in front of us were huge rides that we could explore and go on, such as the mini rollercoaster, the planes and waltzing waltzers. But our favorite was the mini train that took you all around the Park, through a wonderland of Elves, Gnomes and Fairies, hidden amongst the trees. And if that wasn’t enough, at the end of the night we were entertained by a fantastic Fireworks display.
Dreamland Margate 1960s by RETSUB12
In the day we would explore the great beaches, go fishing, or just look for crabs and other sea creatures. To walk along the cliff path was amazing too, especially when we discovered the Sunken Gardens between Margate and Westgate. It was a lovely little retreat from the heat of the day just sitting among all the wonderful plants and flowers. Then take a stroll along the cliffs to get an ice cream.
Then another change happened. The pier closed down and was destroyed. And the word was, Margate, my lovely seaside resort, was no longer worth visiting. It had become tacky and disinteresting.
But now its getting back on its feet and there are some great things to explore in Margate now. If you are interested in Art there is the Turner Contemporary. This is a visual arts organisation, and promotes Historical and Visual art. There’s lots to see and do, from learning how to draw, to book reading.
Memories Must Be Cherished
One of my favorite places in Margate, is the Shell Grotto. it’s a really old and mysterious. It is a 2000ft masterpiece of exquisite shell mosaics. Nobody knows how it got there or who made it. It is believed to be hundreds of years old. The Grotto’s Dome is a historic solar calendar, and its said that the Knights Templar's used it to worship back in the 12th Century.
If you love nature, then you have to visit the Monkton Nature Reserve in Ramsgate, just up the road from Margate. Its 16 acres include a bat cave, mammals, reptiles and butterflies, along with birds and an observatory.
Along with museums such as the RAF Manston History museum, there is St. Augustines Cross, which is a large monument built in 1884 to celebrate the arrival of the Benedictine Monks to Kent in 597AD where its said that they celebrated the first Catholic Mass. You are sure to find something that will keep you amused. And of course all those lovely beaches to explore.
A Sad Decline
The coastline around Margate is a great place to stay. Not only do you have Westgate, but there is also Ramsgate and Cliftonville too. I have stayed at all of these places over the years and they provide me with a vast amount of great memories. I know Margate has been having a hard time over the last decade, but its such a shame that the local council have allowed it to fester and go downhill.
Sadly Dreamland was closed down a few years ago. Then a fire hit the site and it seemed that the idea of Dreamland becoming Margate's saving grace was lost. The tourist industry is always telling us to holiday in England. Why go abroad when we have so much going on over here? The wonderful beaches, the Kent sunshine and so on. So why do they allow one of our best seaside resorts to go to ruin?
Dreamland was Margate. Its as simple as that. Along with shops closing and ruined buildings, it seems that the local Council needs to get something done. And quickly. But luckily it seems that this is going to change. Evidently money has been poured into regenerating it, and hopefully we can get our glorious Dreamland back on its feet.
This wonderful Park with its magical attractions was the heart and soul of visitors. The memories are not just mine, but also thousands of people all over England. You only have to visit web sites that talk about this, to know.
I am not sure that adding an Art Centre will be the thing to bring life back to this wonderful place, but hopefully in the near future, with Dreamland being rebuilt and new shops opening it will once again be a magical place that children will love and have cherished memories that they will keep forever. I know I have.
Here is the news that we have all been waiting for! Dreamland is back! Tickets are available online!
For more information go to:
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