Jimmy Godden, famous for running Dreamland in Margate from 1996 to its eventual closure in 2003, has died at the age of 67.
Dreamland Margate opened in 1920 with the introduction of the Scenic Railway, which was sadly considerably damaged in an arson attack in April 2008. The park expanded quickly over the years, particularly during the Bembom Brother era from 1981 to 1996.
The park was sold to Godden in 1996, who operated the Rotunda Amusement Park at Folkestone and Ramsgate Pleasure Park, alongside a number of amusement arcades across the country. It was during this period that a number of classic attractions were removed from Dreamland, and relocated to Godden’s other parks – one of the most notable removals was that of the big wheel which dominated the skyline for around twenty years.
Godden announced his plans to close Dreamland and use the site for retail and commercial purposes in 2003, however in 2004 it was deemed that the site should only be used as an amusement park. The site was later sold to the Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company in 2005.
The Dreamland Trust have been actively attempting to revive the park since its closure was announced, but despite a number of recent advances, ground has yet to be broken and the classic Scenic Railway remains in a state of disrepair.
Godden was being treated at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London after battling cancer for two years. He passed away earlier this week.