the long term future of both Dreamland and the Scenic Railway still
doubtful the park and the campaign is in need of support. One thing
I've noticed is not everyone is aware of the history around it, so
I've decided to do a write up to introduce people to the history of
seaside resorts, which led to the introduction of amusement parks and
rides like the Scenic Railway.
all really started back in 1750. Then there were very few towns in the
whole country that resembled a bathing resort. Then Dr Richard
Russell, a respected physician at the time wrote his book called
"Glandular diseases: or a desertion of the use of seawater on the
affection of the glands." In this book he suggested glandular problems
could be taken care of with a course of treatment including freezing
cold early morning dips in the sea, eating pills of ground woodlice
and drinking neat seawater. Not a partially pleasant treatment, but
was effective due to the iodine in the seawater.
kick-started the trend for bathing resorts. It was helped further when
Dr Russell encouraged businessmen to invest in Brighton, the nearest
bathing resort to his home town of Lewis. This meant theatres, inns
and other forms of entertainment started to appear. Other resort towns
started to follow Brighton's lead, and an idea of a holiday to the
seaside, not just visiting for medical reasons was born.
soon became a very fashionable thing to do, and even received royal
patronage that really helped it to develop. All successful bathing
resorts from the 1780's onwards had some form of royal patronage from
a duke or higher. even King George III regularly visited Weymouth and
his son the future Prince Regent and George IV built his own palace in
Brighton after a scandal.
those interested it goes: Prince meets Maria Fitzherbert. Prince falls
in love. Maria shuns Princes advances. Prince stabs himself in the
chest, saying he'd rather die than live without her. Maria flees the
country (the sensible thing to do considering). Prince is forbidden to
leave country by King, but continues to send gifts and love letters.
Maria gives in and returns to marry Prince. King is furious, and
declares marriage illegal (he could do that as royalty under the age
of 25 couldn't marry without the kings permission). Prince and
Princess set up home in Brighton, because it's the only place they
could publicly be seen together due to the questionable legitimacy of
the 1800's there were quite a few established sea bathing resorts, but
after this there was a huge explosion in the number and size of them.
This was caused by the same thing causing growth to most towns and
cities around the country. The development of the steam engine and the
was one of the biggest social upheavals in the history of the world
ever. It was the foundation of the modern world as we know it today.
In this time towns and cities became industrialised. The workers
started to be centred around factories producing goods, instead of
working on farms. Although the condition of some working areas,
especially the length of working days was poor, cases of extreme
mistreatment were the exception not the rule. The workers also has
some new advantages that were unavailable before.
important ones where that workers now had more spare money to spend on
the pursuit of leisure, and extra days of, including weekends and
additional bank holidays.
trend coincided with the set up of Britain's early railway system.
Thanks to campaigners and businessmen like Thomas Cook, who set up
cheap travel and holiday packages, cheap and easy access to seaside
resorts became available. (Ironically Thomas cook originally hoped
that package holidays would help reduce the amount of alcohol
and daytrips to the seaside soon became one of the most popular ways
for people to spend their free time and money. This led to large
amounts of investment in seaside resorts as the demand for
accommodation and entertainment grew. One of these forms of
entertainment was of course some of the worlds first amusement parks,
including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and of course Margate and it's
is a very important piece of history, and one which Margate's Scenic
Railway is a symbol of. I'd like to finish by asking you to pay a
www.savedreamland.co.uk to find
out more about the campaign, and how you can show your support. I'd
also like to recommend trying to
pay a visit to Dreamland (see save
Dreamland for announced opening times) to not only show your support,
but also if the worst should happen in the future the next few years
could be one of your last
opportunities to try this historically important ride. Lets really
hope though that the worst doesn't happen, and that we can continue to
try this great ride for years to come.