Thousands enjoy Victorian Festival of Christmas

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FESTIVE spirit filled the air as the dockyard was teleported back in time.

The Victorian Festival of Christmas attracted thousands of families to the Historic Dockyard over the weekend.

(l-r) Sakura Elkington and Eliza Batholomew dressed as chimney sweeps at the Victorian ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-876)

(l-r) Sakura Elkington and Eliza Batholomew dressed as chimney sweeps at the Victorian ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-876)

Steve Marrufo, 39, from Elson, Gosport, was with his wife Anna, 33, and his son Lorenzo, two.

He said: ‘I work here and I cycle through it all the time.

‘It’s nice to see it with the whole community together – we come here every year.

‘It’s always nice – there’s always something different.’

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Sheila Sharpe, Julie Baines, Derek Gleed, Helen Tudor-Powell. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-837) PPP-141129-163205001

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Sheila Sharpe, Julie Baines, Derek Gleed, Helen Tudor-Powell. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-837) PPP-141129-163205001

There was something for all with mulled wine, Victorian characters and a street covered with snow.

Stacey Westbrook, 28, from Baffins, Portsmouth, was with her husband Dale, 31, and sons Harry, one, and Ollie, four.

Ollie said: ‘I liked the Frozen bit, it was good.’

His mum Stacey added: ‘We brought them down to get in the Christmas spirit.

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Julie Baines, Derek Gleed.''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-844) PPP-141129-163216001

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Julie Baines, Derek Gleed.''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-844) PPP-141129-163216001

‘We’ve put our decorations up on Friday ready.’

The popular annual event drew people from across the area – putting a major strain on routes into the city and on local roads.

Huge queues of people were reported at the Portsmouth City Council-run park and ride off the M275.

But actors in their finest period costumes turned visitors back to a much simpler time.

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Kirtsy Malloy, Natahsa Kean. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-889) PPP-141129-163238001

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Kirtsy Malloy, Natahsa Kean. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-889) PPP-141129-163238001

Tiny James Littlejohn delighted the crowds in his role as Michael Banks in Mary Poppins.

The six-year-old, whose mum Helen, 47, was playing Mary Poppins, said: ‘Christmas is awesome.’

Helen, who was with the group of actors and actresses from the Groundlings throughout the dockyard, said: ‘This is the first time at the festival.

‘It gives them that confident to perform in front of a group of people and to mix with other people.’

Also pleasing the crowds was re-enactor Julie Baines, 56, from the Royal Sussex Living History group.

She said: ‘It’s amazing. My outfit is based on the infantry. It’s a new one.’

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Ollie Westbrook and Stacey Westbrook. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-909) PPP-141129-163249001

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Ollie Westbrook and Stacey Westbrook. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-909) PPP-141129-163249001

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Chris Long, John McLaverty, Rosalie Cuthbert. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-916) PPP-141129-163300001

143394_FESTIVAL_29/11/14''(l-r) Chris Long, John McLaverty, Rosalie Cuthbert. ''Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143394-916) PPP-141129-163300001