26 February 2006
More wailing and teeth-gnashing precipitated this week by news that the local council is to allow developers to concrete over Dreamland, the moribund amusement park on Margate seafront, over on the deeply unfashionable north side of the Ile de Thanet.
Currently well past its torch-by date, a few stalwarts have nevertheless banded together to save Dreamland, in the hope that it can be revitalised, much as Frankenstien's monster was, by a huge injection of something-or-other.
Meanwhile ASBO-wielding youths, Bryant and Mays at the ready, encircle the site, along with its 1,000,000,000 year old, listed wooden rollercoaster, ready to do the bidding of the first track-suited local property magnate to tip them the nod.
This all seems terribly backward. Instead of erecting yet another hotel/motel development for superannuated poodle-tuggers, why not go the whole hog, and turn the place into something that would really capture the imagination of the locals?
My proposal would be 'Arsonworld'. This would be a theme park loosely based on the film Westworld, starring the late, departed and dearly missed lovely Yul Brynner as an android who runs amuck, shooting the paying public who have come to re-enact the old, wild west.
The idea is simple. People would pay a small fee of, let's say, £30 to park their cars at the Dreamland site. They could then walk along the turd-strewn beach, enjoy a shopping trip to the local Poundstretcher, or savour a lard butty at one of Margate's trendy eateries.
Then, upon returning to their vehicle, they could enjoy the frisson of finding it burnt out.
Simple, exciting, money-spinning.