Ulverston Dickensian Festival

Saturday and Sunday 29th and 30th November saw the 10th anniversary of Ulverstons Dickensian Christmas Festival take place. The event was sponsored by the local North West Evening Mail. A cold misty Victorian Saturday was followed by a glorious sunny but cold Sunday. Large crowds descended on the market town for both days and even the BBC cameras were there for a feature on the country file program broadcast on a Sunday morning. There was no shortage of entertainment with a full programme of entertainers on both days. The festival program was a bargain at £1 and gave a full listing of all the events with interesting articles on Stan Laurel, Charles Dickens, Gerald Dickens and the family tree showing the link from Charles Dickens to Sir John Barrow.

All day events proved very popular and included a children’s fairground, giant tombola and raffle, children’s hat making, birds of prey display, miniature railway rides, steam bus rides, donkey rides from the Gill and not forgetting Santa’s Grotto. Large and small mechanical organs were sited on various street corners.

Brass bands, choirs, folk bands and street entertainers provided the entertainment at the various stages situated around the town. With many people walking around and manning the many stalls dressed in period costume an authentic Victorian atmosphere was created. A torchlight procession followed by Dickensian songs of praise organised by the various churches of Ulverston at the Methodist church in Neville Street was followed by the grand festival firework finale.

From talking to people around the town and the many coaches parked up it was clear that many had travelled from far to visit the town. They must have been impressed with the Made in Cumbria food stalls offering all sorts of fine local produce. The mulled wine stalls were doing a roaring trade helping to warm the hands and body. One special visitor to the festival this year was the great, great grandson of Charles Dickens.

Next years event takes place on the 28th and 29th of November so put it on your calendar. For information telephone 01229 580640, www.dickensianfestival.co.uk

Very funny and very mad One woman and her dog The band plays on

A true gent Owl display A gentle stroll

Very funny and very mad The crowds had a great time Made in Cumbria food stalls line the street

Mulled Wine Organ Player Steam Bus

The street preformer Having a good time Barrow Shipyard Band

Having a Good Time Magic Time A African Owl

In Good Voice Organ Display The Choir Sings

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