Fareham steps back in time at Christmas lights switch on

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CHIMNEY sweeps, cobbled streets and horse drawn carriages were the order of the day as Fareham was transported back in time to the Victorian period. 

The specially themed day was to celebrate the town’s annual Christmas lights switch on with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert themselves, aka Emma Brown and Nick Williams, having the honour of lighting up the town.

Mark and Dawn Easterbrook in Victorian costume.

Mark and Dawn Easterbrook in Victorian costume.

Nick said: ‘We are part of the acting team at Fernham Hall Theatre and were delighted to be asked to do it. There have been some fantastic costumes on display, particularly the children dressed as chimney sweeps.’

Emma added: ‘There has been a fantastic atmosphere tonight and the switch on has really got people in the festive spirit.’

In an area synonymous with the birth of Charles Dickens, many residents had gained inspiration from the novels of the great man himself, particularly A Christmas Carol.

The Gosport Steam Punk Society were out in force with members dressed in a wide range of period attire.

All the fun of the fair at Christmas lights switch on.''Picture: Keith Woodland

All the fun of the fair at Christmas lights switch on.''Picture: Keith Woodland

Society member, Mark Easterbrook, said: ‘The Victorian period is often associated with Christmas and much of that is to do with Dickens’s books.’

Wife, Dawn Easterbrook, added: ‘We always love to get dressed up and there has been a real buzz in the town which helps to get everyone in the right frame of mind for Christmas.’

Joining Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on stage for the switch on was Mayor of Fareham, Cllr Pamela Bryant.

Cllr Bryant said: ‘I think the Victorian theme has gone down really well and it’s wonderful to see so many people here tonight. The event really brings the community together.’ 

Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the Mayor of Fareham switch on the town's Christmas lights.''Picture: Keith Woodland

Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the Mayor of Fareham switch on the town's Christmas lights.''Picture: Keith Woodland

The switch on was part of a day of festive fun which also included a Christmas market, fair, street performers and lantern making workshop. 

Lola Wareham, aged five, said: ‘The lights are great and I really enjoyed the fair and meeting Santa.’

Sister, Sadie, aged nine, added: ‘I am now really looking forward to Christmas.’   

Emma Brown and Nick Williams aka Queen Victoria and Prince Albert' 'Picture: Keith Woodland

Emma Brown and Nick Williams aka Queen Victoria and Prince Albert' 'Picture: Keith Woodland