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The Dreamland Story

About the Dreamland Heritage Trust

The Dreamland Heritage Trust is a charity and a member of the Independent Museums Association

The Trust originated the idea of reopening Dreamland as the world's first amusement park of historic rides. Working with the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Thanet District Council, it secured £18m funding to restore Dreamland and its jewels: the Grade II*-listed Scenic Railway, Grade II*-listed cinema complex and Grade II-listed menagerie cages.

The Trust is responsible for the vision of a reimagined Dreamland, executed by the award-winning multi-disciplinary designer, Wayne Hemingway MBE and the HemingwayDesign team. 

The role of The Dreamland Heritage Trust is to conserve and promote Dreamland’s rich heritage, the Historic Rides Collection and the Archive, through a comprehensive programme of schools activities, learning, engagement, volunteering, training and interpretation opportunities.

An Interview
with Nick Laister

Nick Laister, Chairman and co-founder of the Dreamland Heritage Trust from 2007 to 2016, speaks here about the campaign that saved Dreamland Amusement Park from closure, and reimagined its future as the world’s first amusement park of thrilling historic rides.

Read how Dreamland was saved


Our vision is of a thriving Dreamland in Margate, which engages local partners and the local community in its work. We want Dreamland to be recognised nationally and internationally for the place it holds in the history of amusement parks and the development of popular (especially British seaside) culture throughout the ages.


The Dreamland Trust exists to protect and promote the heritage, education, historic and brand proposition of Dreamland in Margate and safeguard them for the future.


To achieve this vision, The Dreamland Heritage Trust, a registered charity, will work with Dreamland’s operator and other key partners to ensure the:

  • preservation, restoration, maintenance and protection of the cinema, structures, plant, equipment and artefacts connected to Dreamland Margate, which are of historic, cultural, architectural, constructional or scientific interest, or exhibit craftsmanship worthy of preservation.
  • promotion of public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the historic and cultural aspects of Dreamland Margate and the area in which it is situated.
  • promotion of public access to the structures and equipment and public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of their architectural, constructional, scientific and craft features.
  • advancement of education associated with Dreamland Margate and its surrounding area.
  • building of a community of advocates and supporters.
  • preservation and development of the brand values of the whole site.

Board of Trustees





We are recruiting Trustees to take the Dreamland Trust into the next exciting phase of it's development. If you would like to know more, please contact


Founding Patron

Marsh MBE
ß Nick

Advisory Board


Bernie Morgan

Bernie Morgan owns Bernie's Chocolate Bar, which overlooks the beach in Margate. She also runs a business consultancy, which specialises in growth, investment and impact for charities and social enterprises. Prior to this Bernie was CEO of Responsible Finance and led the development of the UK's responsible finance industry. In this role she raised over £85m of investment into businesses in the UK's most disadvantaged communities. She is a trustee of RBS Social and Community Capital and a board member of Sustainability Connections CIC and Margate Bookie. She became Chair of the Trust in July 2016. 

Nick Laister
Founding Patron and Chair 2007-2016

Nick is a co-founder of the Dreamland Trust and was its first chair. He also founded the Save Dreamland Campaign in 2003 and was instrumental in securing listed building status for the Scenic Railway. He developed the idea of an amusement park of historic rides, and organised the rescue of numerous rides from amusement parks that were closing down in the pre-2008 property boom. He attended two public inquiries and secured the protection of Dreamland in the Local Plan. Nick is a Chartered Town Planner and Director at one of the UK's largest planning consultancies. He works extensively within the visitor attractions industry, advising several UK and international theme park operators on planning and development matters. Nick is also an author, founder of the website, and owner of Fairytale Farm, a visitor attraction in Oxfordshire.

Susan Marsh MBE
Founding Patron

Susan became actively involved in the Save Dreamland Campaign in 2003 and undertook the advocacy for the Local Plan Public Inquiry. Susan brings extensive knowledge and experience of community involvement in planning matters, equality and diversity, not for profit companies, charities and education.

Stephanie Karpetas
Honorary Treasurer

Stephanie is the Founder and Director of Sustainability Connections CIC and a Director of Orchard Community Energy. She specialises in project design and delivery, community engagement, training and facilitation. Stephanie brings over 20 years experience working on environmental and social impact  projects, including Environment Manager at British Airways Plc, working with SMEs, charities, social enterprises, business support organisations and local government. Stephanie lives in Folkestone.

Andrew Baker

Andrew is a partner and heads up the litigation team at Thanet and Canterbury solicitors Boys and Maughan, which has been based in Margate for over 200 years. He has worked in Thanet for close to 25 years and been associated with the Trust since 2009. Firmly rooted in Thanet’s business community, Andrew has been a Director of the Thanet and East Kent Chamber of Commerce and retains close ties with the Chamber. He has also been a member and past Chairman of Margate Round Table, through which he has been involved in local fund raising and community activities.

Roger Joyce

Chartered Architect and principal of Roger Joyce Associates since 1977; on the AABC register. Roger is a member of the Executive Committee of the Kent Building Preservation Trust, and has been a Civic Trust Assessor since 2009.

Ian Aitch

Iain Aitch is a Margate-born writer, creative consultant and artist, who is the author of two books and contributor to a dozen more. He was artist-in-residence with Dreamland, Turner Contemporary and Kent County Council in 2011, with a youth culture project about memories of the town and Dreamland itself. Iain has written extensively about Margate and especially Dreamland, where his grandfather was an engineer. He is currently working on a visual history of Margate beauty queens, which will culminate in a book and exhibition sometime in 2018. He lives in east London.

John Cripps

John Cripps first became involved with the Trust in 2013 when he worked on an exhibition of works by Walpole Champneys’, an interior designer employed by Dreamland. He has had a connection with Dreamland since 1976, when he was a DJ in the Galleon Tavern, and has many happy memories of the time. He is delighted to see Dreamland open once more, and promises to do as much as possible to keep the timeline of Dreamland and all its stories for the next generation. 

Paul Manning

Paul is principal of East Kent College's Broadstairs campus  - a leading further education provider, rated 'good' overall, with five 'outstanding' gradings by regulator, Ofsted. He has lived on the isle for 20 years and studied catering at the former Thanet College before forging a successful career working as a fine dining chef in the UK and in France. He returned to the college in 2002 to teach, was promoted to director of education, and then appointed principal of the college. Paul has many magical childhood memories of Dreamland and is passionate about its success and its role in establishing Margate as a top tourist destination.  

Mick Tomlinson

Mick has lived in Margate all his life, training as an electrical engineer when he left school. Mick’s interest in Dreamland began in the mid 1950s, when he would visit with his parents, mainly to see the Thursday night fireworks display. Later, he became a model maker and animator for the park, eventually moving into a management role as advertising and promotions manager. He been the town’s mayor twice and was awarded the Honour of Burgess of Margate in 2011 in recognition of his work in promoting the town. He hopes that his long involvement and deep knowledge of the park will benefit the Trust.

John Hutson

John was born in Margate and grew up locally. He trained and qualified as a journalist working on local newspapers in the Isle of Thanet before moving to Bristol in 1981 to pursue his career. He spent more than 40 years working in communications including media relations, corporate communications, public affairs, brand management and broadcasting. John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. In recent years he has been spending more and more time in Margate and has been overjoyed to see the continuing regeneration of the town.

Professor Shane Black

Shane began his career in sociology and cultural studies having previously worked in the music industry in a record store in London. He has a PhD in Sociology and has completed funded research for the Home Office, the Kent Constabulary and Kent Social Services among others on social and cultural processes. He is the author of Chilling Out and editor of 'The Subcultural Imagination’.

Shane is Research Fellow at the Danish National Centre for Social Research and a Research Associate: in the Sociology Department, Goldsmiths, University of London and editor of the International Journal of Youth Studies and YOUNG: Shane is a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC): Peer Review College.

Michaela Riaz

Michaela is a newcomer to the Thanet area. She fell in love with the seaside town after visiting her partner who lives in Margate and remembers having a great day at Dreamland; enjoying the rides and candyfloss as well as being fascinated with the sea, greenery and architecture of the area. 

Michaela holds a degree in accounting and finance from the University of Kent. After graduating she decided to stay in Thanet to pursue her career and continue to make wonderful memories. She now works in a local accounting practice looking after a vast portfolio of clients.

Michaela joined the Dreamland Trust as a treasurer in April 2019 and is looking forward to using her knowledge and experience to help the Trust with preserving the heritage of Dreamland and Margate.

Derek Newman

Derek worked for 45 years in the construction industry with both developers and contractors and held the position of project director for 25 years.

He retired in 2018. He has been responsible for the successful delivery of many well-known and iconic projects in both the public and private sectors including at Canary Wharf, Westfield Stratford City and a series of publically funded schemes while working for the London Development Agency. The latter included saving the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace Park from closure and the delivery of the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford where he was lead for the funding bodies. More recently, Derek worked with Thanet District Council at the Dreamland estate in Margate.

Derek brings extensive experience of project management and budgetary control to the trust as well as strategic planning. He has particular interest in heritage projects. 


From the 1920s until today, discover the story behind Kent’s most iconic theme park.