Festival fun at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

The Groundlings Theatre Company perform at the Victorian Christmas event at Portsmouths Historic Dockyard.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123905-14)
The Groundlings Theatre Company perform at the Victorian Christmas event at Portsmouths Historic Dockyard.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123905-14)
Wayne Sweeney with his wife Stacey Sweeney

Picture: Habibur Rahman

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VISITORS to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard travelled back through time to enjoy a Victorian Christmas.

The Dockyard was transformed, with snow lining the streets and actors wearing Victorian era clothing, as they took on the roles of characters from Charles Dickens’s novels.

There was even a chance to ride a miniature steam train along a length of track.

Sarah Walker, 38, from Emsworth, and her daughter Hannah, 12, took the opportunity to have lunch together at the Victorian Festival of Christmas, which is open today and tomorrow from 10am until 6pm.

Sarah said: ‘Hannah’s come down to meet me on my lunch break at work, we’ve come down to have lunch together, I love the snow.’

And Hannah enjoyed the chance to walk along the streets lined with stalls selling Christmas treats.

‘It’s kind of cool, it’s a bit odd because some people aren’t dressed up and then I feel a bit out of place because it’s all old.

‘They’ve got big hats, it makes me want to have their hats.’

The festival also saw Father Christmas dressed in green, his historical colour, along with a carousel and two Dickensian streets divided into rich and poor.

And the festival even received a royal visit from Queen Victoria, with the Fort Cumberland Guard firing muskets from the HMS Warrior slipway.

Oscar Dawson, 13, came to the festival from Colchester with his mum Helen, 42, dad Robin, 42 and brother Elliot, 11.

He said: ‘They have to do a special march and do everything at set times, it’s quite complicated.’