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Published: 09:36, 08 April 2008 |
Updated: 11:46, 08 April 2008
Fire crews from across Kent tackle the blaze
Happier times when the historic rollercoster was in action
Hundreds of people gathered around the disused fairground to watch the action unfold
Plumes of smoke tower above Margate as the Scenic Railway burns
Spectators and firefighters survey the what is left of the Scenic Railway
The charred remains of the 88-year-old landmark
The end of an era
The fire spreads quickly through the wooden structure
The historic railway is engulfed by smoke and flames
The scale of the devastation is clear as firefighters dampen down the site
The destruction of Margate’s Scenic Railway marks the end of an era for the town.
Built by John Henry Iles when he opened the Dreamland fairground in 1920, the traditional ride was a physical reminder of the town’s golden years as a bustling seaside resort.
In its first full season, the railway - constructed from tough Canadian Douglas fir - carried more than one million people and paid for itself within the first few weeks
But Monday’s fire was not a first for the ride – it is the fifth major blaze to hit the ride in its history.
After it caught fire in 1949, large parts of the old wooden Lowestoft pier were used to rebuilt it, although hundreds of ten-inch nails had to be removed first.
It became a Grade II listed structure in 2003 and is the third oldest wooden roller coaster in the world, and the oldest in the UK.
In 1989 the popular television sitcom Only Fools and Horses saw Del Boy, Rodney and the gang enjoy a day out at Dreamland and the Scenic Railway for the Christmas special, The Jolly Boys Outing.
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