Spirit of Christmas past is a big hit for visitors to festival

THE cold winter chill certainly didn't stop people from starting the Christmas celebrations this weekend.

Monday, 4th December 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:35 am
Victorian Carol Singers at the festival of Christmas Picture: Keith Woodland

This year’s Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard saw thousands of people flock to the city over the course of the weekend.

With 350 gift stalls across the dockyard, live music and even fake snow in the air, the event sought to bring across the nostalgic feel of a true Victorian Christmas – featuring actors and actresses performing throughout the dockyard, including double act ‘Elf and Safety’ and theatrical performances of period theatrical pieces.

A traditional green Father Christmas was also present over the weekend, bringing the Christmas cheer to the young people who came through the gates.

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'Queen Victoria' and her entourage Picture: Keith Woodland

Les Allen from Havant said: ‘I’ve come down here today as part of my 70th birthday treat.

‘It has been really good here and we have all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

‘I was almost surprised in a way that is was just so good – there was so much to take in and it’s clear that the staff at the dockyard have put a lot of effort into the weekend.’

David Stone, 68, from the Isle of Wight said: ‘We come every year and it is always fantastic.

The 'Larkin about Angels' entertain visitors to the Victorian Festival of Christmas

‘There are a lot of stalls here so there may be a fair amount of Christmas shopping going on – I’ll let the rest of the family do their thing with that while I have a bit of lunch.

‘It feels a lot warmer this year, which is certainly an added bonus – we were all absolutely frozen last time around.’

Susan MckEnna, 48, from Bournemouth said: ‘We left at 8.15am to travel up here specifically for this, and it has been worth every minute.

‘Everything they have here is absolutely wonderful so we have had such a great time. I was smiling from the moment we walked through the gates.

Street performance by Wavy Navy

‘There are a lot of independent stalls set up, so this is a really fantastic way to get in the Christmas mood and support some local businesses.’

Stewart Farndell, 40, from Salisbury said: ‘I came here a couple of years ago and it is good to come back once again.

‘It is more of the same thing but I think that is what makes it so popular every year.

‘With the wife around and me planning on drinking, I think there is probably going to be a lot of spending happening.

Tunes from Oliver were preformed by the Groundlings Theatre

‘But it is all worth it for such a fun day out.’

'Queen Victoria' and her entourage Picture: Keith Woodland
The 'Larkin about Angels' entertain visitors to the Victorian Festival of Christmas
Street performance by Wavy Navy
Tunes from Oliver were preformed by the Groundlings Theatre