Thanet Star

Dreamland enters administration

Dreamland has been a staple attraction to this Isle that we call home for as long as I can remember. I have countless memories of spending most of my childhood sitting upon their rides and trawling through their part with my older siblings. It was a good place.

broken dreams

But even as a child, I could see the decline. The good rides stopped working, the bad rides weren't fun and the general atmosphere of the place was no longer one of childhood wonder. We all know the story of what happened to the place, so I won't bore you with the details. But, safe to say, I missed Dreamland when it went away.

Was I excited when it was officially announced that it was coming back? Not even a little. Because the people running the place didn't know what they were doing - in my opinion. As news and stories emerged of the new plans for the park, I became more and more disjointed with the project. Retro rides. Restaurants inside old disused rides that they couldn't afford to fix. It was never going to work.

I wanted it to work. Thanet needed something other than the Turner to bring in the tourists, but I was almost constantly questioning why spend the tens of millions of Council Money on a dead end when that money could rejuvenate half the town? It was a good idea, just not a sensible one.

Launch day, for me, was the day I was sure that it was destined to fail. Opening at the height of summer with the summer holidays approaching, it should have been a prime holiday destination for everybody in a hundred mile radius that spent even a weekend at the park in the last twenty years. It wasn't. Half the rides weren't ready and it was expensive. What made Dreamland great was that my parents, who weren't wealthy by any means, could afford to send myself and my siblings to the park for the day and it was affordable. A treat, sure, but an affordable one. It could never have survived as it was, even if on day 1 it did everything it should have done. Instead, the rides weren't open until the autumn when everyone is huddled up inside and back at school.

The company that runs Dreamland - Sands Heritage Ltd - entered administration on Friday 27th May. At present, they are seeking a way to make the park more financially viable, long term, but haven't ruled out selling the park altogether.

Dreamland is still open - especially with the Half Term break coming up - but I can't see it being open come summertime. I don't often wish that I was wrong, but this is one occasion when I would have loved to have been proved wrong. Alas, it appears that Dreamland - a dream for thousands in the land - has failed.

Broken Dreamland

David Chitty is a local fiction writer who spends far too much time tending to his beard. He can be found on davidchitty.com or you can like him on Facebook.
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Alien Invasion

Are we being invaded? Earlier this month several witnesses reported seeing an unidentified flying object over Manston. A video was captured of the alien craft:

This is not the first time we have had intergalactic visitors in Thanet. It appears there is a certain group of locals who are intent on tracking the movements of these foreign visitors, with the expressed view of showing the rest of us how terrible their presence would be. Various other sightings have been documented over the past few years, leading some to speculate we will soon be completely taken over by an alien horde.

This footage, filmed in Broadstairs, clearly shows an intergalactic reconnaissance mission:

Whilst this video, shot in Ramsgate, appears to be a ship on the lookout for potential amphibious abductees:

This was shot from Margate Harbour and looking out towards Reculver, and offers definitive proof of a small fleet of spacecraft flying in a formation:

The signs are all there, apparently. To some, this is the onset of Armageddon. But would it be so bad if a few aliens moved in? Maybe they are just on holiday, after reading about how Margate is now the fourth hippest place in the UK. Even if they are relocating, there's plenty of room here, and we are mostly a friendly bunch.

Whether they are from another galaxy, or travelling back in time from the future, or just from down the road, they’ve picked a great spot. Thanet is an incredible place to live, so it's no wonder the little green men want a part of it.

Maybe it's not quite time to dig out the tin hats and stock up on canned soup just yet.

About Seb: When he is not writing guest posts for Thanet Star Seb Reilly is a fiction writer and occasional musician from Thanet. Seb maintains a website at www.sebreilly.com.
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We are living in a horror story

Some days, I wake up and pray that I am still dreaming.

These days it honestly feels like we Brits have given up compassion, in favour of making as many people suffer as humanly possible. When did that happen? When did we start fearing those worse off than ourselves?

Just after the banks screwed us as hard as they could, we brought into the mentality of blaming the victim. We let the bankers have a big payout and turned our attention on those that got the worst of it and said: "this is your fault".

Was it, or was it not, rich and overpaid "managers" that got us into this mess? Was it, or was it not, traders in greedy "too big to fail" money market agencies that caused the crash? Was it, or was it not, the very same people that walked away with a huge bonus, paid for by the government with our money, that got us to where we are now?

UK

Don't get me wrong, things were not exactly ideal before the bankers bent us over and, well, you get the picture. Only now, we have been convinced to blame the poor. How the hell did that happen?

...

» Continue Reading: We are living in a horror story

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The Windmill Community Gardens.

I would like to think that most people would be against the mass use of chemicals that we use on fresh food these days.

It's been well established now that it has had a negative effect on our environment. The soil that we need to grow our food is degrading, this is resulting in more chemicals being pumped into the ground to counter this. The cycle repeats until we all start having to eat dust. There are other impacts, but, essentially if we keep farming the way that we are then we're pretty much screwed. So, how do we stop this?

Don't buy it. You don't buy something, the people will stop making it. I know all too well the argument of price, however, when it comes to buying organic or chemical free products. It's an argument that I myself use. I buy food that's laced with so many chemicals that I'm surprised my food doesn't glow. If organic food cost the same as non-organic food, I'd buy organic. But it can't cost the same; more work has gone into getting that chemical free product to your shopping trolley than its chemical counterpart. More work means more money.

What can we all do then? A little bit does go a long way. The majority of the fresh produce that I buy is not organic. But I do buy some that's chemical free. There's a great little place in Dane Valley called the Windmill Community Gardens. They run a great selection of activities but, I'm sure you've guessed where I'm going with this, they also sell chemical free produce.

Every Tuesday the Garden has a market stall between 12 and 4pm at their site on the corner of Dane Valley and College Road. On the stall, you'll be able to buy locally grown, seasonal fruit and veg and it's all chemical free. And it opens its door again this week - 17th May 2016 in case you're reading this in the future - The products they sell on the stall are beautiful.

I know it's cliche to say that they taste better, but they really do. They also have a weekly veg box scheme that delivers a bag of veg to a multitude of different locations around Thanet for as little as 6 pound a week. What have you got to lose?

Windmill Community Gardens truly is a Thanet Star...

David Chitty is a local fiction writer who spends far too much time tending to his beard. He can be found on davidchitty.com or you can like him on Facebook.
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Political Laryngitis

It appears that we have a new Police and Crime Commissioner, the Conservative candidate Matthew Scott. He was elected, if you can call it that, by a mere 20.98% of the population of Kent.

To put that into context will require some numbers, so bear with me. As of 2014, there were 1,510,400 people living in Kent. Only 266,806 people voted in the Kent PCC election. Matthew Scott received 104,558 votes, including the second count. That's less than the population of Thanet.

Over the centuries, people have fought and died for our right to vote. For me, voting is not just a right. It is a responsibility; an obligation. How can I possibly hold an opinion on the decisions made in government if I have not exercised my right to vote? By abstaining, I am forfeiting my own voice, and that is not acceptable to me.

I recently attended a town meeting, where various councillors, PCSOs, and other representatives held a panel to speak to members of the community. It was held in a school, so naturally I assumed it would be the assembly hall. In fact, it was in a classroom, and half the seats were empty.

Last time I checked, classrooms were designed to accommodate 30 children.

The main topics of discussion at this meeting seemed to be cars parking on both sides of the street near a school during pickup time at the end of the school day, youths playing on skateboards on the promenade, and lots of complaining about the lack of police presence on the streets. The PCSOs held their own, repeatedly explaining to those raising the issues that there are much more serious crimes occurring that the Police are needed for, there is only one PCSO per area, and resources are stretched due to budgets.

Those present did not seem to understand that a Police Officer does not just cost their salary – there is the equipment, training, vehicles – the actual amount to hire another Police Officer for Thanet would be huge. The Officers that are here try to use their resources as effectively as they can within the budget they have been assigned. Unfortunately, if people continue to complain about cars parking on both sides of the street, or kids hanging out and not causing trouble, then police resources will be stretched even thinner.

Perhaps the new Police and Crime Commissioner will manage to increase budgets and put more Officers on the streets, as appears to be the general public desire. That being said, I'm basing my research on the fifteen people present at the town meeting. Like the turnout for the PCC, it appears that they are the voice for us all.

If only the rest of us would speak up, perhaps someone would hear.

About Seb: When he is not writing guest posts for Thanet Star Seb Reilly is a fiction writer and occasional musician from Thanet. Seb maintains a website at www.sebreilly.com.
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Matt B commented on Political Laryngitis
When so few people speak up, those of us that do can have a very profound impact... When...
[17-05-2016 14:58:09]

Nick Lund commented on Political Laryngitis
I am surprised that so many people actually voted. I'm sure in Thanet it was much much...
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There was an error with you "about" box. I fixed it.
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