Victorian Festival of Christmas Re-written for 2010
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will be re-writing this year’s Victorian Festival of Christmas, taking place on Friday 26th – Sunday 28th November, as they invite visitors into a colourful Wonderland of childhood literature and welcome Hampshire Fare to the event for the first time!
Entering its 11th Chapter, the ‘Victorian Festival of Christmas’ will not only feature Festival favourites, including a beautiful Victorian snowy street scene, the ever raucous Fagin’s Tavern, unique Christmas gift market and visit to the traditional Father Christmas (dressed in green), but will also see the Historic Dockyard set amongst an enchanting Wonderland of Victorian stories and characters.
Indeed it is a true Wonderland to explore with scenes inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, where visitors can discover a giant tea pot and cups and enjoy an exhibition of artwork based on the storybook classic, all in the vicinity of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Although, it is advised not to arrive late for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party or a game of croquet! (Mad Hatter’s Tea Party: 10.30am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm daily).
Revellers can then ‘step in time’ outside the museum to the skill of the one man band in the style of Mary Poppins and see a wonderful display of kites soaring above HMS Victory whilst being careful not to jump into Bert’s marvellous street chalk paintings!
This year along the enchanting snow-covered ‘A Christmas Carol Street’, there is the chance to meet Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family and discover scenes from this Charles Dickens classic including those in Scrooge’s office, the graveyard and the Fezziwig’s Ball. (Scrooge’s Office scene: 10.30am, 11.45am, 1.45pm, 3pm daily). Classic readings of Charles Dickens’ work and Sherlock Holmes can then be found at the Mary Rose Museum.
For the wannabe Beatrix Potter, the school bell will be ringing at the rear of Boathouse No.7 for lessons in illustration and drawing your favourite animals!
There are plenty of discoveries to be had in the Secret Garden including the characters of this wonderful tale – Mary Lennox with her uncle Archibald Craven and cousin Colin, Mrs Medlock and Martha Sowerby and Dickon Sowerby’s animal petting farm.
Plus HMS Warrior 1860 will be the perfect place to visit for those who refuse to grow up as the ship becomes the ‘Jolly Roger’ for Peter Pan and his Lost Boys and swash-buckling pirates.
Christmas traditionalists can join the service of seasonal carols – Saturday’s service with the Royal British Legion Brass Band and Kingscourt School Senior Choir is in aid of Wave 105’s Cash for Kids charity with the invite to sponsor a bow to be placed upon the Christmas tree. Friday and Sunday services will be led by the Reverend Roland Wort RN accompanied by Achoired Taste and the Portsmouth Citadel Band of the Salvation Army. (4.45pm – Friday and Sunday, 5pm Saturday at Fagin’s Tavern).
The story is brought up-to-date with a glorious bazaar of arts, crafts, festive food and drink and unique Christmas gifts for loved ones at the European-style Christmas shopping markets.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is especially delighted to be welcoming Hampshire Fare for the first time this year. Recent winners of a gold award at The 2010 Beautiful South Awards for Excellence organised by Tourism South East, Hampshire Fare will be a magnificent new addition showcasing the splendid food and drink that this county produces.
Tickets to the Festival of Christmas include entrance to the world-class attractions, HMS Warrior 1860, HMS Victory, Mary Rose Museum, National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and also included this year; a boat tour around Portsmouth Harbour.
Further information and ticket booking can be found on the website www.christmasfestival.co.uk
A Victorian Festival of Christmas is supported by Wave 105.