Dreamland, Margate – The Funshine Capital of the South-East
(Includes Video Link)
Dreamland Amusement Park dates from 1863 when buildings opened as a restaurant and dance hall. Known then as the ‘Hall by the Sea’, the business was sold in about 1870. Circus Boss ‘Lord’ George Sanger eventually became the sole proprietor of the site together with further adjacent land to the rear. A menagerie and circular riding machines were some of the early features of the Pleasure Gardens. Following Sanger’s death in 1911, the site was subsequently acquired in 1919 by amusement entrepreneur John H. Illes. He renamed the site ‘Dreamland’ after visiting the Dreamland Amusement Park at Coney Island, Brooklyn NY. The Illes family already owned and operated amusement facilities both here and abroad. The first new major adult riding machine was opened to the public in 1920. The ‘Scenic Railway’ was a flanged wheel coaster withContinue reading Dreamland the Amazement Park→
Born in Jersey, Ohio on 8th. March 1848, he was the eighth of ten children. From an early age he had designed and built toys and invented farm equipment. Even at the age of seventeen he was condsidered to be a master carpenter, building farms without help. He went on to devise seemless hosiery, and by 1877 had formed a partnership in a mill making scarfs and mittens etc. During the early 1880’s ill health forced Thompson to sell-up and follow another path. Inventing amusement riding machines became his passion. On 13th. June 1884 he opened his Switchback Gravity Railway at Coney Island, Brooklyn NY. This really was the birth of the roller coaster that we recognise today. This rather basic ‘out ‘n’ back’ amusement ride was however Continue reading The Father of the Gravity Ride→
‘Futuristic Fred’ (1914 to 1983) – Classic Fairground Artist
Fred Fowle was a classic fairground artist who decorated many of the leading showfolks’ tackle. He upheld the tradition of classic fairground art. His incredible 3D images seemed to somehow mimic the actual motion of individual amusement riding machines. He was in a class of his own, especially with ‘marbling’ and ‘diminishing dropshade (with deep perspective)’ techniques, often using partridge feathers instead of brushes to achieve unbelievable results with paint.
Bruce Bairnsfather was officially appointed British Officer Cartoonist. To many he became the ‘Man who won the 1914/18 War’. He created the best known cartoon character of the First World War – ‘Old Bill’, and became world famous for his cartoon captioned, ‘Well if you knows of a better ‘ole, go to it’. His work can be found on plates, ashtrays and memorabilia. A southern showland family have owned a bronze mascot of ‘Old Bill’ since it became available on the 9th. May 1919. This mascot has adorned many a radiator cap on their transport over the years, and is pictured here on the firms’ Scammell Highwayman tractor. Any yes – ‘Old Bill’ STILL rides to the fairgrounds.
Images & Intellectual Copyrights rest with EAI Picture Library
The Friendship Circle of Showland Fans celebrated their Silver Jubilee in 1964 with a grand Steam Fair at Shottesbrooke Park, White Waltham. This very memorable event was extremely well organised, well promoted and very well attended by showfolk, enthusiasts and the public.
It was estimated that 200,000 people attended this Steam Fair over the three days. People came from far and wide to see a traditional steam driven fairground in action. ”Hats off” to all those who organised this truly great and memorable event.
To view the video, ”1964 Old Time Silver Jubilee Steam Fair” click here
Pictures courtesy Early Amusement Images Picture Library – All Rights Reserved
Over 700 Lots of Surplus Showland Tackle to go Under the Hammer – Preview Day
(Contains Link to Video Production)
Rightfully claimed as ”The Sale of the Century”, this mega-auction event was held towards the end of the last Century. Surplus Fairground and Circus tackle went under the hammer in this indoor and outdoor event. Many other surplus items were also offered for sale by a variety of vendors. The video of this event contains images taken on the Preview Day.
To watch the Video, ”The Amusement Sale of the 20th. Century – Over 700 Lots of Surplus Showland Tackle click below :-
Picture Copyright Early Amusement Images Picture Library – All Rights Reserved
Abandoned Old Lorries and Amusement Tackle – Unseen Images
(Contains Link to Video production)
By popular request there is now a new video looking at abandoned old lorries and amusement tackle. Our North American friends speak of the ever growing interest in images of ”Rusting Objects”, and in particular the images of abandoned classic vehicles. Rust of course is a natural process, so it follows that this subject falls within the area of ”Natural Art”.
To view the video, ”Heavy Metal in the Weeds – Rust in Peace”, just click below :-
All Images Copyright EAI Picture Library – All Rights Reserved
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