Portsmouth Historic Dockyard turned into blast from Victorian past

From left, Ben Vallis from Hayling Island with daughters Molly, one, Betsy, four, and his partner Shelley Meredith 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161341-6)

From left, Ben Vallis from Hayling Island with daughters Molly, one, Betsy, four, and his partner Shelley Meredith Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161341-6)

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FAMILIES have flocked to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to get into the festive spirit with a twist over the weekend.

Its annual Victorian Festival saw tens of thousands of people of all ages head to the site as the dockyard was transformed into a blast from the past.

From left, Phil Burke with Lindsay Window and Zoe Harding from Portsmouth 
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161341-7)

From left, Phil Burke with Lindsay Window and Zoe Harding from Portsmouth Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161341-7)

Now in its 17th year, the festival gives visitors the experience of how Christmas would have been during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Attractions include Father Christmas in green – the original colour of his suit before Coca-Cola turned it red – as well as HMS Warrior lit up as a Christmas tree and faux snow being scattered throughout to create a festive atmosphere.

Lorraine Collyns, from Cosham, said: ‘We have had a lovely day. We came to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.’

Roz Parsons travelled over from the Isle of Wight.

‘It is really good value for money and it is getting us in the mood for Christmas.

Roz Parsons

She said: ‘We haven’t been before but the atmosphere is great and we were pleased to be here.

‘It is really good value for money and it is getting us in the mood for Christmas.’

The event proved a boost to local businesses with Gunwharf Quays’ car parking filling up and nearby pubs also being packed out.

Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161341-12)

Picture: Ian Hargreaves (161341-12)

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