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Kent council 'grateful' for public's quick thinking after railway fire

The leader of a Kent council has praised the public for their help in reporting the fire that broke out at a scenic railway site last night.

Members of the public called the emergency services after the Dreamland site in Margate caught alight - which is believed to have been started deliberately.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service managed to quickly extinguish the fire and there was no damage to the Grade II listed structure.

We are very grateful to the members of the public who reported the incident last night and to the Fire Service for their quick and effective response.

Council officers attended to assess the damage, along with our partners at The Dreamland Trust, and are back on site this morning to review what measures need to be put in place to prevent a repeat incident.

Thankfully there has not been any damage to the Scenic Railway and plans will progress as scheduled to develop the exciting new amusement park.”

– Cllr Iris Johnston, Thanet Council Leader


Dreamland site fire 'believed to be started deliberately'

The fire which broke out last night at the Dreamland site in Margate is believed to have been started deliberately.

The fire started in a building within the Scenic Railway site but no damage has been caused to the Grade II listed structure itself.

A statement from Thanet District Council said: "The council is working with Kent Fire and Rescue Service and Kent Police to establish the cause of the fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately."

Work is now underway to see if additional security measures are needed around the site.

Dreamland visitor centre opens today

Dreamland closed in 2003 Credit: ITV Meridian

The Dreamland visitor centre will open today paving the way for the reopening of the historic theme park. Dreamland was one of the country's oldest amusement parks and at one time included a zoo, miniature railway, a cinema, a 2,000-capacity ballroom and Europe's largest big wheel.

But as tastes changed the amusement park fell on hard times, before it finally closed in 2003.

The amusement park closed in 2003 Credit: ITV Meridian


Kent man jailed for citing girl to engage in sexual activity

A man from Kent has been imprisoned for more than five years after inciting a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.

21-year-old Terry Loader, who's from Poets Corner in Margate, was sentenced to five years and two months imprisonment at Canterbury Crown Court.

Loader pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing indecent images of children and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was arrested in September last year and data was downloaded from his phone which included sexualised conversations with young children - as well as 55 indecent videos.

This case acts as a reminder to parents of children who have mobile phones to speak to them and help them understand the precautions they should take when using the internet, or the many instant messaging services that are available. These services are fantastic for connecting people around the world, but it is inevitable there will be a minority of people who will use these services for the wrong reasons. Children should only communicate with people that they know personally, and report any suspicions or inappropriate advances from strangers to the police."

– Jon Baker, Detective Constable at Kent Police

Concerns for missing 9-year-old boy

Zachary Longley was last seen leaving school in Margate Credit: Kent Police

Kent Police is concerned for the welfare of a nine year-old boy who is missing from his home in Margate.

Zachary Longley was last seen at around 3.30pm today heading in the direction of Osbourne terrace.

He had finished school, but had walked off following an argument.

Zachary is around 4ft 9ins tall and has fairly long blond hair.

He is of slim build with blue eyes and was last seen wearing black trousers, black shoes, a black coat and a white shirt. He was carrying a black, red and grey Umbro sports bag.

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