Following Dreamland's successful first summer season after reopening under the creative direction of fashion designer and retro enthusiast Wayne Hemingway, the winter season is now upon us. On top of rides and games, the park is hosting a series of events for adults and families – and it's all wrapped in the mismatched trappings of a variety of eras from the 20th Century that evoke nostalgia.
I was invited to the opening day of the winter season – dubbed Frosted Fairground – so packed up the family in the car and headed to the seaside at Margate.
Margate itself has been trying to reinvigorate itself for some years now as a hipster hotspot. While there's the occasional independent coffeeshop or dive bar, most of the town reminds you of that line from Morrissey's Every Day Is Like Sunday about "a seaside town that they forgot to close down". The Moz's following wish for Armageddon to come could hardly make the town look worse than the massive towerblock that looms over Dreamland – even dwarfing the huge Ferris Wheel.
Dreamland isn't going to let itself be dominated by its delapidated surroundings though. There's a sense of faded glory to the place, but this is a considered take on retroism – well-worn rather than worn out – that has a real charm and humanity to it.
Images: A gray winter’s day meant that we’ve used Dreamland’s photos like these as well as our own in this story.