Christmas the Victorian way

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HARTLEPOOL is going Victorian as it gets ready to celebrate Christmas.

Parlour songs, stilt walkers and a chance to make gingerbread stars are all part of Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience festive line-up for an event called Christmas Crackers on Thursday, December 15.

A waterside mini fireworks display will also be part of the event which runs from 4.30pm to 7.30pm and is the highlight of Hartlepool’s Victorian Winter Festival.

Lesley Strickland, Hartlepool Borough Council’s Cultural Events Officer, said: “With a host of attractions both inside and out and even a special mini fireworks display, it will be an evening packed with fun for all the family.”

Other highlights will include street theatre from Mr Scrooge and Mr Scratchit, and stiltwalkers Fagin and Dodge.

Songs from the shows will be sung in the Captain’s Cabin on HMS Trincomalee courtesy of Manor College of Technology, and there will be carols on the Historic Quay from the Northern School of Music.

Victorian parlour and playground songs will be sung on board the paddle steamer Wingfield Castle in workshops run by experts from The Sage at Gateshead.

A gingerbread men workshop will also be available and there will be a range of festive stalls selling Victorian-style cake stands and china, hand-made embroidered cushions and traditional sweets from days gone by.

There will also be Christmas storytelling, a pantomime and Santa will be available to visit in his grotto (a small charge applies which includes a gift).

Three hours of entertainment is planned and it costs £3.50 per person (free for children aged under two).

Tickets are available from Hartlepool Tourist Information Centre, in Church Square, or by calling (01429) 890000.