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Monday, 4 March, 2002, 11:04 GMT
Oldest rollercoaster given listed status
Scenic Railway
The rollercoaster attracts visitors from around the world
Britain's oldest rollercoaster has become the first in the country to be given listed status protecting it from future development.

The "Scenic Railway" at Dreamland theme park in Margate, Kent, has been given Grade II status after a recommendation from English Heritage.

Built in 1920, it is one of only a handful worldwide which has a brake man on board to control the speed of the cars.

Its wooden frame, which takes fours months to maintain each winter, attracts rollercoaster enthusiasts from around the world.

World famous

Jim Godden, the owner of Dreamland, said it is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the oldest operating rollercoaster in the UK.

"We are delighted with the news. It now means the industry and us have got recognition as being an important factor in tourism.

Dip on Scenic Railway
The ride is known among enthusiasts as a "woody"
"It has cost me an awful lot of money to restore it. As it is now listed I'm sure we can get benefits from English Heritage for future restoration."

It is known among enthusiasts as a "woody" because it has a timber frame rather than metal which gives a more rickety feel to the ride.

The white-knuckle ride features two laps with dips and turns with the second lap featuring longer drops.

Mr Godden said: "It is a different feel to metal rides. We have attracted enthusiasts from all over the world to ride on it."

Its original system with a wire which catches under the cars and pulls them up is still in use.


Click here to go to Kent
See also:

10 Jan 02 | Health
Rollercoaster risk warning
21 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
World's fastest rollercoaster opens
25 Jul 98 | Entertainment
On track for coaster target
15 Mar 98 | UK
A leap into 'Oblivion'
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