Victorian venture will bring Christmas to life in Hull’s Old Town31/10/2013
A Victorian re-enactment complete with carriage rides and the unlikely experience of give-aways from Ebenezer Scrooge will bring Christmas to life in the Old Town of Hull.
History will be at the heart of an event organised to launch the festive season as creative learning specialists, Heritage Learning illustrates the influence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on turning Christmas into a family celebration.
But the Victorian Christmas on Saturday 30 November will also feature more modern themes, with businesses from around the region coming together to provide entertainment and other activities including a local market.
Julie Buffey, who has had great success since establishing an outdoor market at Trinity Square last year, has been inundated with requests from traders eager to claim a stall in High Street for the Victorian event. Licensees are working on their own ideas, which will include festive music and games in the historic pubs along Scale Lane and High Street, with Victorian characters patrolling the rest of the city centre in period costume to direct Christmas shoppers to the attractions.
Annika Nickson, Event Manager at Heritage Learning, said: “There has been a Victorian Christmas event for a few years now but this will be the first time that Heritage Learning has organised it.
“This year we plan to take it back to its traditional roots and give visitors the opportunity to explore the origins of our festive traditions and step into Christmas past.
“We want to promote the Old Town of Hull and in particular the Museums Quarter, Scale Lane and High Street and we are delighted that the business community in that part of the city is getting involved on a larger scale than ever.”
Visitors are invited to help Victoria and Albert bring Victorian cheer to the celebrations by bringing along hand-made decorations to hang on Victoria and Albert’s tree. Instructions can be found on the Heritage Learning website and Facebook page (www.heritage-learning.com). Other attractions will include real horse and carriage rides around the old town and a fancy dress competition. Scrooge will be based in the Streetlife Museum, telling visitors his Christmas story and begrudgingly giving key rings containing a real Victorian penny to the first 100 members of the public to arrive in Victorian costume, while the two lucky winners of the fancy dress competition will win family tickets to either “Beauty and the Beast on Ice” or “Jack and the Beanstalk”.
Visitors will even be guaranteed a white Christmas courtesy of a snow machine. EYMS will operate a vintage bus between Paragon Interchange and the Old Town, with a flat fee of 50p to help more people access this unique event.
Julie Buffey said the emphasis of the market will be on history and crafts. She said: “It will have a Victorian theme and we will focus on the sort of hand-crafted items that make perfect Christmas presents.
“Our Trinity Open Market has become increasingly popular among shoppers and stallholders since we launched it last year and now we are taking it on tour.”
In addition to the regular markets on the first Friday of every month, Julie will organise markets on Saturday 21 December for the live Nativity at Holy Trinity Church. There will also be a market on Thursday 19 December.
HullBID provides the market stalls, and a team of staff to put them up before every event and remove them afterwards. HullBID City Centre Manager Kathryn Shillito said: “The idea of a market came from the businesses in the High Street and Scale Lane area and it is great to see that they are working together to add to the appeal of the Victorian Christmas.
“The aim of these events is to try and generate more business for city centre traders and there is no doubt that the people who get involved get the most benefit. We will support them with this year’s Victorian Christmas and we are confident that it will prove more popular than ever.”
The Victorian Christmas Market takes place in the Museums Quarter and on High Street on Saturday 30th November 2013.
Pictured: Naomi Broadhead from Heritage Learning gets into the Victorian Christmas spirit at the Hands on History museum