Victorian fun brings festive cheer

Kate Hill, Lesley Adams, John Buxton, Suzie Hames and Steven Lord prepare for the Victorian Christmas Festival. Picture by Steven Lord.
Kate Hill, Lesley Adams, John Buxton, Suzie Hames and Steven Lord prepare for the Victorian Christmas Festival. Picture by Steven Lord.

The last time the clock was turned back in Brighouse with a 1940s weekend, the event was a huge success and attracted thousands of visitors to the town.

Now organisers are hoping to match that success with a Victorian Christmas Festival which will boost festive cheer in the town for two days - November 30 and December 1 - and continue every Saturday until Christmas.

The Victorian-themed Christmas activities will build on the success of the hugely-popular street markets that have been held in Brighouse over the past four years and of one-off events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Street Party, the Olympic Torch Games and the 1940s weekend.

John Buxton, of Brighouse Business Initiative, said: “The Victorian Christmas Weekend is the start of a month-long campaign which will promote Brighouse over the Christmas period and encourage people to enjoy their town and become part of it.”

Planning for the event is now underway and attractions are expected to include carol-singing, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, street entertainment, a funfair, Father Christmas - even a snow machine.

There will be a Victorian street market with traders in costume, Christmas stalls, choirs and bands and street magicians.

“Unfortunately we can’t reduce the prices of goods to the Victorian era but the shops will be offering special deals to make Christmas special.”

The Christmas Festival will also include a special screening of the popular classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on December 5, a variety show and carol concerts. The festival will aim to repeat the success of the 1940s weekend in June which brought an estimated 100,000 visitors and more than £1 
million revenue into Brighouse.

Mr Buxton said: “This helps protect local jobs as well as creating work for local traders who sell their goods on the stalls and in local shops.

“We want people to get their Christmas off to a good start in Brighouse - it will be the place to be.”