Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Victorian Christmas spectacular is an elementary success

Portsmouth university study looks at depression and the past

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WOMEN shouting for the right to vote, men begging for food and Sherlock Holmes on stilts were among the characters making themselves heard at the Historic Dockyard’s Victorian Christmas this weekend.

Children looked on, puzzled, as snow seemed to fall from the sky down the temporary Baker Street and Cheap Side.

' A Victorian Festival of Christmas ' continued over the weekend in The Historic Dockyard with thousands of people enjoying the popular annual event ''Children and street urchins from The Groundlings Theatre Company ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (133284-0790)

' A Victorian Festival of Christmas ' continued over the weekend in The Historic Dockyard with thousands of people enjoying the popular annual event ''Children and street urchins from The Groundlings Theatre Company ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (133284-0790)

Youngsters in ripped clothing with dirty faces ran through the crowds. Men with handlebar moustaches looked over penny farthings. The split between old and new was evident.

The theme of this year’s festival was Sherlock Holmes, whose creator Arthur Conan Doyle wrote many of his books in the city.

Francoisse Ramsay, who was visiting the event with her family, said: ‘We are very impressed with it. Our son is involved this year – he is playing a little Victorian child. It is good, a really nice atmosphere for everyone.

‘I appreciate what they are doing. It really does feel Victorian, scarily.’

Sean Duffy from Drayton was with his three children at the event on Sunday.

He said: ‘I have enjoyed the snowy street. I like the setting here and we like the characters a lot.’

Linda Gregory was visiting for the first time.

She said: ‘It’s absolutely brilliant. I have been down here a number of times but it has been wonderfully thought out.

‘I have never seen reindeer before but now I have. It is really well organised. I have had a wonderful day.’