Monday, 16 November 2009

DREAMLAND COME TRUE?

I'm sure you're all familiar with The Dreamland Trust. Its chairman, Nick Laister, has been trumpeting his plans to transform Dreamland into a heritage amusement park for quite some time now, mainly proposing to fill it up with vintage thrills 'n' spills to tap into the collective nostalgia for old-fashioned British seaside resorts and hopefully reviving its fortunes. On the whole, I've been an admirer of their plans to date; it's got some fantastic potential. After all, anything's better than being in limbo, like it currently is.


The trouble is, with a burnt-down and (currently) unrepaired Grade II-listed Scenic Railway as its centerpiece and a diminishing supply of metals being pillaged from the site, it's been hard to envisage the Dreamland project getting off the ground. That is until recently, of course, as it turns out the government has just awarded £3.7 million to The Dreamland Trust to make their plans of reviving the seaside attraction a reality. Hurrah to that, I say.

It is expected that the Scenic Railway will be repaired and the Dreamland Cinema (also a listed building) will be given a quick spit 'n' polish to look all shiny and new. I've even heard whisperings that Dreamland Cinema may double up as a music venue. Then again, I've also heard that it might end up being a museum devoted to the history of the Dreamland site, with memorabilia, archives, and artefacts. It could even be both, for all I know. All I do know is that with a little help of their friends at Thanet District Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, it's my fond hope that this will be a runaway success for the Dreamland Trust and I hope it doesn't - ahem - go up in smoke.

In fact, I did apply for a job working for The Dreamland Trust as Audience Development Officer. The job description said they required: "An enthusiastic ambassador with a passion for this special site, and for music and fashion in general; you will have an appropriate degree together with excellent interpersonal skills, a flair for engaging with the public and a true appreciation of the importance of popular culture." Hmm, that sounds like me, I thought; so off I went; submitting an application form in good faith; keeping my fingers crossed.

Trust me, I don't like moaning about failed job applications on this blog, but I honestly felt very disappointed to receive a rejection letter from The Dreamland Trust. I don't doubt that there are people who possess more experience than me at the moment, and that's to be expected considering my age, but it still doesn't make it easier. Especially when I see The Dreamland Trust splashed all over Meridian TV banging about the extra £3.7 million in funding they've just received; and here's me, sitting on my arse, wishing that I could've thrown my hat into the arena and got involved in the project. Shame really.

That being said - and I mean it sincerely - I wish The Dreamland Trust plenty of good vibes and offer them my wholehearted support. It's a real shame that I didn't get the opportunity to work alongside them to be a part of the whole enterprise and help achieve their goals, but there's no point crying over spilt milk (unless it's gone sour). This news of extra funding seems like a big enough vote of confidence for the whole project anyway, so anything I say will probably seem inconsequential, but hopefully it'll be a great success. Best of luck to all those involved.

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