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Dreamlands Role in Regeneration of Margate Essay Sample

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Dreamlands Role in Regeneration of Margate Essay Sample


Margate and the once famous amusement park which at the moment stands closed is the subject of the research Methodology critique. The essay will explain the modalities that were used to gather the information of the dreamland at Margate. The data collection involves both the primary and secondary collection methods so as to ascertain the validity of the information that is available. The primary data was gotten from the residents of Margate after spending five hours on Nov 20th, 2009 at the Margate asking questions to the people that dwell there and have been living there for a long time especially when the Amusement park was in operation.  Secondary data was gotten from books and websites in relation to the history of the Dreamland.


Margate is one of the oldest and actually the first sea resort that was built in England. It is located near Coney Island in Brooklyn. It is located on latitudes 51.3850 N and Longitudes 1.38380 E (Map of Margate, 2010). Margate were among the most famous places in England with its amusement park just like its name. It was built in 1880 as an entertainment joint and amusement and it did live up to its expectation. Between 1904 – to – 1911, it contained primarily of many freak shows that was a great thrill at that time and the people especially the children loved to visit that place. The redesigning at that time was done by William H. Reynold who was well connected to the Tammany Hall (Dreamland (Amusement park), 2010).

The amusement park was sold out by the owner Jimmy Godden in November 2003 after siting that the site proved to be no longer economically viable. He sold it for a well documented and reported £ 20 Million to the MTCRC (Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company). It was later re-opened three summers later but only for a while. Since its closure, the Margate economic status has since gone down (Dreamland, 2007).


Dreamland has been the oldest amusement park in England and when it was created, it was meant to provide high class entertainment especially with its elegance in its architectural buildings back in early 20th century. It has a pristine white tower that had some educational exhibits not forgetting its thriving thrills and rides on the roller coaster. It had a record 1,000,000 light bulb that had been elegantly used to outline and illuminate its building which back then was quite a novelty (Dreamland (Amusement park), 2010).

The main attractions were the railway that was uniquely design to run through the alpine Swiss landscape. There were baby incubators and some Lilliputian Villages that did contain about 300 inhabitants who were dwarfs. Later a fire gushed out of the building and burnt the building down. It was such a loss and the place was then converted to Victorian pleasure garden till 1919 when it was reclaimed back (Dreamland, 2007).

Its fame did spread and in the 1980s it was operated as the theme park by the Bembom Brothers. In Britain’s figures of 2002, it was rated as the fifth most visited theme park that did not charge the visitors with a record 680,000 visitors (Dreamland, 2007).


A research is the process involved in the collection of information about a topic. The main aim of this is to study, do some analysis and interpretation of the data collected with an aim of knowing more about that topic in a more scientific manner. This means that the research conducted is through rules and regulations so that the systematic and logic examinations are the key points to observe in writing any research paper (Veal, 2005).

The focus point in Margate is the dreamland and its key role in the regeneration of Margate. With it fame still in the air as it has not been closed for a long time, then Dreamland offers a better tourist attraction especially to local businesses while in operation. If the government could rehabilitate and valorise the Dreamland, then it can help regenerate the lost glory of Margate. Margate still holds the history of the 19th century and this is a rich heritage that needs to be conserved.

The visit to the Margate on November 20th, 2010 was to collect the data from the local. Data collection was through distributing questionnaires to the locals and asking them some oral questions and we too the data.  The questionnaires were prepared with an am of collecting as much information as possible within the limited time period of the visit to the Margate.


This part was about research formulation, and the reasons behind the drive to do the research. There has been a major outcry in the news and on the web about saving the Amusement park at Margate. After some research on the web it did interest many to do a more qualitative as well as quantitative research on the rise and fall of the Dreamland and its effect on the economic status of the locals around the Margate’s famous Amusement park.

Secondary Research: – Analysing information that has been used or collected at an earlier time so as to gain more insight into the actual background, facts and figures of research topic.

  • Dreamland is currently owned by the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company (MTCRC) as from 2005 but the site is closed to the members of the public.
  • The closure of the park has since brought great negative impact on the social and economic lifestyle of the Margate residents. There are far much less tourist even in the high seasons leading to high unemployment rates, closure of shops, pubs and restaurants that used to thrive when the amusement park was operational.
  • The Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company started the Save the Dreamland campaign together with other partners like the Dreamland trust, Margate renewal partnership and the Thanet District council.
  • The government has already set apart £ 3.7 million for the revival of Margate dreamland.
  • The scenic railway has been lined up for rebuilding together with some new attractions and the heritage of the old English movies.
  • Once opened, the Dreamland is purported to attract about 700,000 tourist to visit the site bringing with it new job openings to the local people and revival of business in the Margate town.
  • There are also charitable activities that are currently in progress and a former brake man of the old roller coaster has organised for a charity where there will be about 40 people riding on the roller coaster naked on 8th August 2010 in an effort to raise over £ 750,000. (Save Dreamland, 2010)

Primary Research

This is the actual field research where the researcher collects data that does not already exist. This is made effective through loco and questionnaires to ask the residents of Margate. The students, with the help of the lecturer, prepared a set of relevant questions to aid in data collection.

Moreover some members of the group did an interview with the program director of the Margate renewal partnership Mr. Derek Harding as he was found suitable and more familiar with the operations of the Dreamland since he has been a resident of Margate for many year and now he serves in the organising committee that is spearheading the renovation of the Dreamland.

Quantitative approach

We distributed the questionnaires to the local people who then filled them and gave them back to us. The questionnaire contained information that was basically based on the effect of the closure of Dreamland in their livelihood.

On the questionnaire

  • Had 11 questions on various aspects of the Margate.
  • 88 questionnaires were issued to 32 females, 38 males and 18 missed out
  • Our group’s question was on how the closure of Dreamland had affected their social activities and the answers were to be either a) No b) Yes or c) Not sure
  • Other important question dealt with the accommodation situation, environment and the facility situations and the local did agree on the fact the tourism atmosphere was at an all time low.
  • Other information that were directly linked to the questionnaire that the locals offered were also noted down

Qualitative approach

This is the step where the focus on collecting more of qualitative data instead of quantitative data. The reason for this approach is to be able to go into in-depth analysis of the research subject. It is crucial that in qualitative data capture one uses, ethnographic/anthropological methods of observation though not mandatory to do that (Gummenson E., 1991). During exploration research, interviews have been found to offer good and useful data and could be either online, on telephone or face-to-face. The most recommended would be face – to – face as this would offer more time, resources and even reading of facial expressions (U. Sekara and R. Bougie, 2010). A face-to-face interview with Mr. Derek Harding offered a good avenue to gain more insight into the progress of the Dreamland. The questions were mostly about the regeneration and refurbishing of the Dreamland in an effort to bring a new dimension in the social economic status of that place. Most of the information was gotten from the interview.

Real examples on the situation in dreamland were given including the economic status of the Margate which has deteriorated after the closure of the Dreamland.

After dreamland was burnt down by arsonists, tourism has really declined in Margate (Rollercoaster fire was deliberate, 2008).

No visitors were allowed except for several marriage festivals.

Restaurants, pubs, shops and B&B (Bed and breakfast) closed down after Dreamland closed and consequently the rate of employment went down.

New industrialisation has later taken over the Margate and there are major shops coming up in place of the typical small ones.

Plans are underway in the rebuilding and remodelling of the famous amusement park which is set to reopen its doors in 2012 and is expecting to be hitting about 700,000 visitors annually.

While referencing the Dreamland, he talked about the Caterpillar, Authentic rides, Whaterwhite, new cinemas and the River caves.

Dreamland is located in an Island called Thanet. The amount of money needed to rebuild the roller coaster is about half a million pound

In addition, the biggest art gallery will be built here fortunately with funds from the public.

The aim of the remodelling is to be able to attract different groups and not just on high seasons.

Together with this is an improvement program on the road transport and network system within and linking to that area. The extant of a good British atmosphere and their welcoming attitude was a major boost in the tourism attraction centre that was also being relied on.


The purpose of this section was to bring to light the good things in the loco as well as criticism of some parts of the loco.


  1. This is the very first step in data collection using the observation and recording techniques. (Bryman, 2007)
  2. Difficulty in finding people to give the questionnaire as many did not want to be interviewed.
  3. Some pubs, Clubs and shops had been shut down hence number of people operating businesses that were to be interviewed was limited.
  4. The was no facility for the local to visit during their leisure  time
  5. Currently there are very few attraction sites in Margate.
  6. Limited job opportunities as the businesses were struggling to remain in market despite the hardships. The fall of Dreamland brought about resizing the company employees in an effort to remain in business hence many lost their jobs.
  7. The atmosphere in that place is not currently as welcoming as it used to be in the hey days.
  8. There were however some people that were very hospitable to us
  9. The income that is generated from that place has really gone down consequently a kind of market stagnation.
  10. Many people used to go out together as families but this has since changed since the closure of the Dreamland. This has really affected the social status of that place.


  1. There were no so well organised group to fill in questionnaire for the limited knowledge of students as the main researcher;
  2. Several problems occurred on the starting point and from where;
  3. The questionnaire was well based on very easy questions to understand for everyone. This was a big advantage to us thanks to the lecturers that designed the final draft;
  4. We started to distribute questionnaires in shops, pubs and café where we collected a lot of data: 80 people were verbally interviewed by our group and 88 questionnaires were distributed to be filled by the locals by all groups of students.
  5. The questions were about different aspects and disciplines of Margate so as to achieve different data: people age; sexuality: – males or females; leisure, social and economic reality, including our main question on how Dreamland affected their business activity and social after its closure;
  6. Good information was achieved: 60% of respondents said that the closure of the amusement park directly affected their business, while 30% said that the closure did not affect their businesses;
  7. The People we interviewed were very kindly and accommodative as they gave us also some personal opinions concerning the questions, such as: the poor job opportunities for people in different ages, the Government absence in that area, the tourist being turned-down after the closure of Dreamland and the general discontent of the people by the shutting down of operations at Dreamland.
  8. Personal opinions collected from people interviewed were not so reliable and could not be so much used as scientific elements for our research;
  9. Of those that were selected, 20% of respondents declined to answer to the questionnaire.

Interview to Derek Harding:

  1. The interview was done by group representatives but for the lack of proper knowledge on how to prepare an interview the questions were not superbly organised
  2. Mr Harding did not have a lot of time to answer all the questions, so the lack of time was a challenge as well
  3. There were other groups of people who were there to interview the local authority hence the time was more restricted
  4. The questions were answered in far much less detailed and so the information was less reliable for the research;
  5. Mr Harding was the sole local authority person who was interviewed and we had no other time or occasion to meet with him again so as to achieve more details on the matter.

Margate has lost its charm and glory to the wind after the fall of the most famous amusement part of all times. The plans to revive it have been met with various challenges including the opposition of the local authorities wanting it to be converted to a totally new thing that is more economically beneficial all year round. There has even been arson attack on the site which left the historic roller coaster 40% damaged. Though arrests were made the damage is extensive and to the tune of half a million pound needed for its repair alone.

Plans for rebuilding and redesigning it the state of the art amusement are underway and is meant to be reopened in 2012. The downfall has been a major blow to the once booming businesses in the town which now lives like a fairy tale only left in the tongues and minds of the residents. It is anticipated that upon it reopening, the town will experience a major comeback of businesses.

The heritage is vital and should be preserved at all cost. This kind of heritage lives to tell a story of years ago and if preserved now, shall be passed on to many generations.

Bibliographic References:

  1. Bryman A., 2007, Business Research Methods, Second Edition, Oxford, UK.
  2. Dreamland (Amusement park) (2010). Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamland_(amusement_park)
  3. Dreamland (2007). available from: http://www.blitzandblight.com/dreamland
  4. Gummenson, 1991, Qualitative Methods in Management Research, SAGE Publications.
  5. Map of Margate (2010). Available from: http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=UTF-8&gfns=1&q=map+of+margate&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=Margate,+UK&ei=hThRTOnjC4aWvAP4-KmmBw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBgQ8gEwAA
  6. Rollercoaster fire was deliberate (2008). available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/kent/7335985.stm
  7. Save Dreamland: Latest News (2010)Joy land books http://www.joylandbooks.com/scenicrailway/news.htm
  8. Sekara and R. Bougie, 2010, Research Methods for Business, Fifth Edition, WILEY Publication.
  9. Veal A.J., 2006, Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism: a practical guide, Third Edition, Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

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