Blackpool Illuminations donated to Margate Dreamland

Blackpool illuminations in 2012
Image caption Giant snowflakes were used in Blackpool in 2012 and are among lights donated to Margate

Lights from Blackpool Illuminations have been donated to Margate to be used in the Kent town's heritage theme park due to open at Dreamland next year.

The idea came from designer Wayne Hemingway, part of the Dreamland planning team, who found the old illuminations in a yard in Blackpool.

"There were a fair amount basically rotting outside on an industrial estate near the airport," he said.

Blackpool councillor Graham Cain said it was a pleasure to be involved.

Dreamland closed in 2003 and its Grade II* listed Scenic Railway ride was damaged in an arson attack in 2008.

Image caption Wayne Hemingway found the lights in yard near Blackpool airport

The site is being redeveloped with historical rides from around the UK as well as classic sideshows, vintage cafes, restaurants and gardens.

Seaside artefacts

"We haven't got an awful lot of money to play with and one of the ideas was to see if there were any old seaside artefacts not being used around the country," said Mr Hemingway, who grew up in Morecambe.

"Obviously I know a lot about Lancashire and I thought 'I wonder what happens to all those illuminations in Blackpool?'."

The donated lights include light fountains, giant snowflakes, angels and devils and lettering from one year's Hawaiian theme.

"We've got all these big things that say 'aloha' but we are cutting them up and changing the letters round and spelling new things," said Mr Hemingway.

Mr Cain said Blackpool had many more illuminations than it could use in its six-mile display, which this year will be switched on on 29 August.

"We have got some great jewels here but its just that we haven't got the the space for them," he said.

"I'd like to see what our illuminations are like in another town.

"We're really really proud to be part of it and I'm looking forward to visiting Dreamland."

Image copyright Central Press/Getty
Image caption Blackpool's illuminations, pictured here in 1956, celebrated their centenary in 2012

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