Dickens World

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Dickens World, Chatham, Kent.

Dickens World is a themed attraction located at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, England. Privately funded, it cost £6.2 million to create, and was opened to the public on 25 May 2007. The original company Dickens World Ltd declared itself bankrupt when unable to meet a £6 million tax bill, investors losing £32 million. [1]

The concept[edit]

The complex was first conceived as far back as the 1970s: the original concept was the dream of late, Gerry O’Sullivan, and turned into a reality by Kevin Christie. Designers RMA Ltd worked closely with Dickens World and the Dickens Fellowship to ensure the production of authentic storylines, characters, atmospheric streets, courtyards and alleyways were true to the period.[dubious ][citation needed]

From the start the attraction lost money and was cross subsidised by the adjacent restaurant and Odeon Cinema which were under the same ownership. The attraction was making £500,000 to £1m losses each year. [1]

Dickens World was based around the life of author Charles Dickens, briefly a resident of Chatham as a child and who, as an adult, lived at Gads Hill Place in nearby Higham. Many of the locations and characters in his novels are based on buildings, places and people of the Medway Towns; for example Holcombe Manor was the inspiration for Dingley Dell, the house in Pickwick Papers.

It is alleged that the 2006 interpretation included the Haunted House of Ebenezer Scrooge (which incorporated a Pepper's ghost effect), a Victorian school room, a 4D high definition cinema show and "The Six Jolly Fellowship Porters", a themed bar and restaurant with mockup Dickensian-style London buildings around a central square. A central attraction was an indoor boat ride.

Bankruptcy and restructuring[edit]

The attraction was making £500,000 to £1m losses each year. When Dicken's World folded a director Ed De Lucy became director of a new company, Britannia Entertainments Ltd and continued to run the site, resigning in September 2013. It was then that Lenny Andreou took the lead and started to restructure the site. Prices have been reduced to £6.50 a head, and the boat trip has gone. From 23 March 2013, the venue offers a guide led walking tour where the visitors meet costumed characters, and hopes to host weddings and corporate events. [1]

Use by the media[edit]

The courtyard scene in Dickens World was used for the opening titles for Oliver and Nancy searching TV show I'd Do Anything when it started on March 15, 2008.

The Hoosiers used Dickens World as the location for their fourth single's video Cops and Robbers in March 2008.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Price, Chris (10 October 2013). "Hard Times for Dickens World investors after Dickens World Ltd". Kent Online (Kent Messenger Group). Retrieved 13 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°24′04″N 0°31′56″E / 51.4011°N 0.5323°E / 51.4011; 0.5323