Margate's Dreamland funfair to reopen after restoration

Image caption Boycie from Only Fools and Horses exchanged memories of Dreamland with people queuing for tickets

Crowds of people have queued for tickets for a 1920s funfair which is to reopen after an £18m restoration.

Dreamland theme park in Margate - home to a Grade II* listed wooden Scenic Railway roller coaster - has been restored after an arson attack in 2008.

John Challis, who played Boycie in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses, exchanged memories with the crowd.

The show filmed in Margate in the 1980s with the characters riding on Dreamland's rollercoasters.

"I have always remembered it because it was special," said Challis.

"It was a jolly boys' outing - a bunch of hooligans got on a coach in London and came to Margate."

Image copyright Rob Ball
Image caption The Grade II* listed scenic railway ride was damaged in an arson attack in 2008

Dreamland's website crashed because of high demand as tickets went on sale for the park, which is to reopen on 19 June.

People in the queue said they had visited during their childhoods and wanted their own children to do the same.

The funfair, once home to Europe's largest big wheel, was bought by Thanet council through a compulsory purchase order in 2013.

Dreamland was one of the country's oldest amusement parks.

Image copyright Rob ball
Image caption Remains of menagerie enclosures and cages at Dreamland, which are Grade II listed.

At one time, the 16-acre site held a zoo and miniature railway, a cinema, cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and a 2,000-capacity ballroom.

Work on the restoration of the Grade II* listed Scenic Railway ride began in September to replace all the wooden parts.

Most of the funding was granted by the Department for Culture Media and Sport's Sea Change programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Thanet District council.

Vintage fairground rides from around the UK have been restored and re-created for the new fun park, which will be run by the Dreamland Trust.

Classic sideshows, vintage cafes, restaurants and gardens have also been installed at the site.

Image copyright Rob ball
Image caption All the wooden parts of the Scenic Railway roller coaster have been replaced as part of the restoration

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