Sunday, 16 July 2017

RCCGB Summer Bash 2017 Midi Report

Date: Saturday 8 July 2017
Venue: Dreamland, Margate
Who Went: Me and a large number of other RCCGB members, including Andy and Christine Hine, Alina, Ann Morgan, Death, Heather Hall, Henry, Isla, James.

DISCLAIMER: The above is NOT intended to be an exhaustive list of everyone who attended. It's a small sample of attendees; mainly those I spoke to and/or rode with at Dreamland. I sincerely apologise to anyone I've not listed.

N.B. Any use of "today" or "Saturday" in this report means Saturday 8 July 2017.

Rationale for Trip
A one-day mini trip from the RCCGB. Over the years the Summer Bash has usually been held in June or July at a park which has just opened a brand new (or relocated) coaster or other ride. This year the Summer Bash was held at Dreamland, Margate, primarily to ride the restored and reopened famous wooden roller coaster Scenic Railway.

Getting to Dreamland
After an exceptionally early awakening I caught the 05:48 train from Bath Spa to London Paddington. Having transferred to St Pancras on the Underground, I just had time to buy myself a takeaway Americano from Barzetti, St Pancras before catching the 08:25 train to Margate (which ran via Gravesend, Chatham and Whitstable). Having arrived Margate at 10:01, I walked straight to Dreamland which is only a few minutes' walk from the railway station.

Day at Dreamland

Welcome to Dreamland
Since I finally reached Dreamland after the planned 09.30 to 09.45 meet-up period, members booked on the trip had already entered and the Scenic Railway ERS had already begun. A security person was standing by a closed gate. I showed her my RCCGB membership card and stated I was booked on the trip, so let me through straightaway.

Scenic Railway ERS
The day began with an ERS on the famous Scenic Railway wooden roller coaster. During restoration the two end sections (which remained undamaged in the April 2008 fire) were demolished and the entire structure was rebuilt using new wood. Thus no part of the structure is original, which is a pity. The trains still have the brake man on board. Once admitted I was eager to start riding. During the rest of the ERS I ended up having six goes, one of which I sat next to Carol, and on one go I sat in the row behind the brake man. Of the various different rows I sat in, I didn't notice much difference between rows. Anyway this was another great wooden coaster to add to my coaster count. Due to my late arrival I collected my wristbands between my first and second goes and paid Nev my trip fee when the ERS ended.

Summary of my rides this ERS: Scenic Railway 6. Did anyone beat me on that?

Free Time
The ERS finally ended at 11:20. Immediately afterwards members gathered beside Scenic Railway for a group photo. Thereafter members spread around the entire park and took over the rides for the rest of the day. There were no further organised activities just for the Club later in the day.

Several others went to ride the Dodgems next. Although I'm never particularly keen on dodgems at the best of times, I decided to follow them and have one go on this occasion, and got on reasonably well. Afterwards I enjoyed one go on Magic Mouse (formerly the Fantasy Mouse at Fantasy Island Ingoldmells) with Death and another RCCGB member. Although I had previously ridden this mouse coaster under its previous name Fantasy Mouse when I visited Fantasy Island, Ingoldmells early July 2010, this was my first ever time of riding it under its new name at its new home. After a much-needed flat white coffee at Morelli's Gelato, I enjoyed two goes on the Beehive Coaster (back row followed by second row).

Being as the time was now after 13:15, I wanted to get some lunch next. I bought myself a pack of BLT sandwiches, an apple Danish pastry and an Americano as a takeaway from Octopus's Garden café and consumed them at one of the burger bar tables (near the Roller Room) next door. My first ride after lunch was Speedway on the motorbike called Nick. Riding this was similar to the 1937 Coronation Speedway at Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire. Next I rode Chair-O-Plane and Gallopers once each. Whilst riding the Gallopers I spotted Nev again, so after I left the ride we spoke to each other briefly and had a couple of pictures taken together. Afterwards I went on Big Wheel with Isla, Alina, Henry and James from the RCCGB.

Born Slippy is a 65 metre six-lane Astra slide. I wanted to slide all its six lanes, but since the attendant said sliders cannot use the far left and far right lanes I enjoyed sliding the four inner lanes once each. Next I had two goes on the Hurricane Jets (aka Zodiac Jets), plane 1 (Aries) followed by plane 6 (Virgo). After a much-needed whippy ice cream from The Stylish Ice Cream Co. I enjoyed Twister (Cyclone) and Waltzer once each. Having left the Waltzer there wasn't much time left before I had to leave around 17:15. I considered sliding the Helter Skelter next, but it was closed. Next I wanted to ride Magic Mouse, but due to its waiting time I left the queue soon after joining it. From there I proceeded to the Scenic Railway and, after a couple of runs, I managed to get into its second row. Obviously I only had time to ride Scenic Railway once, but I enjoyed this go very much. The perfect ride to end my day at Dreamland; where I began. Without further ado I headed for the park exit.

Summary of my day in order of activity

Morning ERS: Scenic Railway 6

Group Photo

Dodgems 1
Magic Mouse 1

White coffee at Morelli's Gelato

Beehive Coaster 2


Speedway 1
Chair-O-Plane 1
Gallopers 1
Big Wheel 1
Born Slippy 4
Hurricane Jets 2

Whippy ice cream from The Stylish Ice Cream Co.

Twister 1
Waltzer 1
Scenic Railway 1

Cumulative Summary of My Rides (ERSs and Freetime Combined)

Beehive Coaster
Big Wheel
Born Slippy
Hurricane Jets
Magic Mouse
Scenic Railway

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Journey Home
The time was almost 17:30 when I left Dreamland, which was later than I really wanted. Without further ado I went to Papp's Fish and Chips, where I bought myself takeaway cod and large chips. Once my order was ready, I hurried back to the station as quickly as possible. When I got there at 17:46, the train which was to form the 17:53 service to London St Pancras International (which I had booked to catch) was just arriving on platform 4, so I hurried straight to that platform and got on immediately. Once on board I began eating my cod and chips. This time the train went via Ramsgate and Canterbury West to London St Pancras International. When I got there I transferred to Paddington on the Underground and just had time to buy myself a takeaway flat white coffee from Delice De France before joining the 20:12 train to Bath Spa. I finally reached Bath Spa at 21:59 and home a few minutes later.

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Meeting members I'd met on previous Club trips again.
Morning ERS on Scenic Railway.
Adding Scenic Railway and Beehive Coaster to my coaster count.

Getting to Dreamland after the specified arrival time and thus missing part of the ERS.
Having to stop riding around 17:25 to begin my journey home when the rides were open later than that.

Summing Up
Altogether a coaster crazy day at Dreamland, my first ever time of going there. Although only a one-day trip, it was still great fun. A nice and straightforward little trip too, just a morning ERS followed by free time the rest of the day. It was great to meet Andy Hine, Ann Morgan, Heather Hall and several other members again. Also it was great to add another wooden coaster (Scenic Railway) and another steel coaster (Beehive Coaster) to my coaster count, and to re-ride Fantasy Mouse of Fantasy Island, Ingoldmells (which I previously rode at Fantasy Island in July 2010) under its new name at its new home for the first time. Furthermore the weather was good, dry all day and sunny at times. Many thanks to Andy Hine for organising this trip, and to the attendants for operating Scenic Railway before opening.

A more detailed report is available here

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