Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dreamland opens, Margate Kent

Ruth and I had tickets for the first day of opening at Dreamland. I had heard on the news that the Scenic Railway wasn't finished which was a shame, but I was more interested in seeing the site and the vintage rides. I like the old signage and paintings on the rides as well as some of the old cars and jets on the rides. Dreamland website here


The weather brightened up fortunately as we walked down, The original entrance was open down by the cinema, which still awaits it's restoration. A shop at the entrance and loads of staff everywhere. I must think of what might be good to sell there.

There is an indoor section with pinball and other arcade games, which we didn't look at this time. I presume they are open to everyone as the ticket section was outside. There are other activities inside too, including a roller disco.

They were still opening up rides while we were there, and pieces of hedge and fences were being moved around. I didn't mind this slightly chaotic mood it added to the atmosphere of  anticipation and of being one of the first on the site.

The chair o plane started up when we walked over, a 1970's classic Waveswinger, made it Germany and brought over from South Africa apparently.

I liked the painted decorations around the ride and took photos of it as well as the rest of the site and rides.

The Wall of Death had a showing which we were in time for, a wooden rickety feeling structure, where two rows of us looked down on the circular wooden track where two men rode their bikes round. In fact the bikes came right up to the top of the walls, very exciting to watch with the riders weaving around doing acrobatic moves as the walls vibrated with the noise of the engines.

I wasn't close enough for taking good photos, but enjoyed the performance.

The Helter Skelter and Hurricane Jets were being well used. I really like the jets, 1950's ride with good decorations.  Little ones were getting ready to pedal the Dream Cars, little vintage cars on a track. But the Big Wheel, and Double Decker weren't open, nor quite a few other rides, which was a shame, but I knew we would get free tickets for another visit.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Margate Seascapes and Sketches

I've been down to the sea front and harbour, taking photographs and doing some sketches.
The colours in the sea have been beautiful this week.

I've been using up paint from my palette to cover some of my sketchbook pages with tones of blue and using white pen to draw on top of it. I've also been following the contours of the waves in my drawings and water colour sketches.

I like the effect of this and will paint a few more sheets with different shades of blue to work on.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Retreat at the Seekers Trust

I had a few days solitary retreat at the Seekers Trust as a meditation and art  space. The Seekers Trust website here
It was good to be back amongst the gardens and wood around the site.
They have been refurbishing the flats and have a new cafĂ© and office space. There were bluebells and forget- me -nots in the woods  and mock orange by my door.

I was lucky to have good weather after the first day with showers and I took my canvases into the wood to do some drawings and back to the flat to paint them.

Some of my favourite trees remain in the wood, though some have fallen down or been cut down, such is the ecology of the woodland.  Many birds still around, lovely to hear them singing most of the day.

I was up at dawn on one day to hear and record the dawn chorus, I love that sense of being surrounded by bird song. It's always amazing how much sound can come out of such tiny birds.

I am still working on some paintings of the woods and church on the hill and on the photographs I took there. I'll upload them when I've finished them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dreamland Margate

Dreamland in Margate is due to reopen on June 19th this year. The original Dreamland considered the oldest amusement park in Great Britain, dates back to the 1860's. Then it was "The Hall by the Sea"run by the famous circus impresario, ‘Lord’ George Sanger.

Since Dreamlands closure in 2003 there has been public campaigning for it's restoration, which lead to the Dreamland Trust and major fundraising. Dreamland website here.

The Scenic Railway, a wooden roller coaster is listed and is being restored along with rides from a number of decades, some saved from the site and others donated. The original circus cages are also listed and being restored.

Wayne Hemingway has been involved with the design along side his wife and team and the heritage theme will be the unique aspect of the new Dreamland amusement park.

I went into the derelict site when the council finally took it over in 2013 and was back earlier this year when the first tickets went on sale.