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Carols, snow and pantomime take Blists Hill visitors back to a Victorian Christmas

By Leigh Sanders | Madeley | Attractions | Published:

Those who braved the wind and rain to get a glimpse of Santa at a popular museum near Ironbridge were rewarded with a slice of festive luck when the clouds cleared and the sun came out to dry them off for the afternoon.

Rosie Kendrick, aged 8, at at Blists Hill Victorian Town

Blists Hill in Madeley, Telford, was hosting its Victorian Christmas weekend again on Saturday where the streets were brought to life with festive music, fake snow that mixed with the rain to create the kind of slush people are used to in this country and the usual array of costumed actors patrolled the street entertaining young and old.

And what made this event feel more like an intimate and quiet family occasion was the fact that the distance between the focal points and spreading of the crowds meant no one area was overly-crowded and you weren't plagued with the crazy queues which blighted similar festive events at the Black Country Living Museum across the border in Dudley recently.

Inside the Santa and Elves Workshop

The larger indoor areas of this museum meant that should the weather turned on visitors like it did in the morning, there are places to shelter such as the Goods Shed with its offering of festive crafts or the well-decorated Forest Glen Refreshment Pavilion where bellies could be warmed with tea and toes dried.

Down on The Green, a Big Top tent was in town to provide an array of shows which entertained visitors and gave a welcome respite from the deluge that greeted those brave enough to venture out in the morning. Its timetable included a Shropshire mummers play, a pantomime called McCladdin and Leo's Loco Circus Show for those who wanted to rest their feet among the exploring.

Up in the main village's streets, there was the sound of carols from the Wellington Brass Band's instruments, while circus entertainers paraded the streets looking for youngsters to entertain and a traditional horse bus provided a different view of the attraction by trotting through the streets carrying passengers.

Kate Worthing and Liz Anson-Smith of Wellington Brass Band

The usual Fried Fish Dealers, bakery and Pritchard's Sweet Shop were open for business and doing a roaring trade. And Santa himself was waiting to grant the wishes of visitors in his workshop situated in the Saw Mill.

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It went down well with visitors, with Louise Read posting on Twitter: "Had a lovely day out at Blists Hill Victorian Town today, and went to see how many references from A Christmas Carol I could find."

The event was being repeated today, having already run on December 7 and 8.

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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