A journey back in time for Victorian festival

Photo Ian Robinson'Garstang Victorian Christmas Festival
Photo Ian Robinson'Garstang Victorian Christmas Festival

Crowds thronged the streets to visit the first night of Garstang’s Victorian Festival and it wasn’t just the free mulled wine and mince pies that had people talking.

The much loved event, which has become a calendar favourite, was full to the rafters with festive spirit as young and old came together to join in the celebrations.

Stalls lined Garstang’s High Street, from butchers, to bakers to candle stick makers, all of whom had braved the icy night, their stalls a mass with handmade gifts, local produce and fine food fancies.

But it wasn’t only the stalls that went back in time to join in the historical fun, as most Garstang businesses opened their doors to cold but happy guests.

Richard Whyman who opens Marketplace News both festival nights said: “For us, it’s not about us doing business, it’s a way of contributing and giving a good service to the town.

“It has become a calendar event for people and is growing year in year out.

“It’s a great opportunity for local businesses to sell their wares and bring quality produce to the High Street.”

His views were echoed by Town Mayor Coun Graham Sailsbury who said: “It’s a splendid turn out and event which should be encouraged.

“Year on year the event is growing greater, it get’s everyone in the Christmas spirit and should be encouraged.”

Woven in-between the crowds, musical and dance delights entertained the masses, with the Jubilee Silver Band, Red Rose Jazz Band, Leyland Morris dancers and Singleton Clog dancers to name a few but not to forget the choirs of school children which included children from Garstang Community Academy, SS Mary and Michaels, Claughton St Mary’s and Garstang St Thomas.

Business owner Sophie Thomas of Shirley’s pies in Preesall, was one of the towns local businesses to set up shop on the high street.

Sophie said: “We come here every year and it’s always really good.

“It’s good to show off our local produce here because there isn’t many local events in the area to do that.”

Thankful for the success of the event, organisers Gill Cross of Iced and Damian Carr of Carrs Jeweller, both from the Chamber of Trade thanked people for their support.

Gill said: “It just seems to get better and better each year. I want to say thank you to people on the entertainment side for coming back year on year and thank the community and all the acts that get involved.

Damien added: “I think it was a lovely night, the weather was great, and everything was there to make it an enjoyable night for all.”

To see video footage from the festival go to www.garstang.courier.co.uk