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A new era of hope

The 1950's marked a new era of hope, leisure and Rock 'n' Roll music. Dreamland was the ideal stomping ground for this new generation.

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The arrival of the 1950s marked a new era of hope and of leisure after the austerity of the war years. The Festival of Britain inspired the nation with modern design and the optimism of a coming space age, though the most important part of this decade, as far as Dreamland and Margate were concerned, was the birth of the teenager.

Rock ‘n’ roll music, the ending of rationing and availability of fabrics in colours other than army uniform green provided for a perfect storm of inspiration for a new generation of young people. Dreamland was the ideal stomping ground for this generation, who wanted to draw a firm line between them and their parents in looks, tastes and attitude. The noise, the smells and the chance to eye up girls/boys was a great draw, and the park became as much a place to promenade in your finery as a place to ride the dodgems.

Lindsay Anderson’s 1953 film O Dreamland captures this era of change perfectly, with most teens and children dressing like their parents, but the odd proto-Teddy Boy appearing in shot.

By the mid-1950s, the Teddy Boys and Teddy Girls had forged Dreamland’s unbreakable links with youth culture, and you were as likely to find members of the working class youth cult making out in the recently built Magic Garden as you were to find a couple wandering around it with their young children. Music and fashion had come to Dreamland and, for some, was every bit as big a draw as the Scenic Railway or the zoo.




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, work with Dreamland’s operator and other key partners including Thanet District Council and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


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