Town lights up for Victorian Shownight

Dorset Echo: CHEERS: Santa waves to the crowds CHEERS: Santa waves to the crowds

ICE skating, mulled wine, carol singers and a visit from Santa kicked off the Christmas season in Weymouth in Victorian style.

The return of the popular Victorian Shownight brought thousands of people into the town centre.

Organiser Roger Dalton hailed the event 'a tremendous success'.

The switch-on of the Christmas lights sparked panto fever as characters from this year's show Cinderella joined Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Councillor Ray Banham on the stage set up in New Bond Street.

Coun Banham said: “It's absolutely fantastic. This is what we have worked for.

“So many people said they wanted this event back, and it's worked.

“I hope everyone has a wonderful evening.”

Father Christmas wasn't the only attraction in New Bond Street as hundreds got their skates on at the ice rink.

Nigel Morris, who lives in Weymouth, brought his family to the event.

He said: “It's the first time we've been to the Christmas evening in town, and it's such a wonderful family atmosphere.”

The Quangle Wangle Choir and young singers from St Nicholas and St Laurence Primary School entertained visitors with festive tunes.

Lizzie Deuxberry (corr), assistant conductor of Quangle Wangle, said: “It was an amazing crowd and lots of people even joined in, which is great.

“It's a lovely start to Christmas.”

The return of the Victorian theme also proved popular.

Natalie Garbett (corr) greeted shoppers in St Alban Street dressed in full authentic Victorian costume.

Natalie, who owns a business providing historical garments to theatre and television companies, said: “People have been so interested.

“I was born in Weymouth and it was the Victorian Shownight which inspired me to study costume.

“I used to work at Brewers Quay and won a best-dressed competition in 1997.”

Businesses made the most of the evening with stalls along St Thomas Street.

Staff at the Weldmar fundraising store got into the spirit with full costume.

Manager Damian Cranny said: “It's a great event and it really shows how much this town has to offer.”

Mr Dalton, of Weymouth BID, who organised the event in conjunction with the borough council and the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce, said: “I think the Victorian theme has really captured everyone's imagination.

“It's such a wonderful family event.”

Comments (1)

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9:53am Sat 7 Dec 13

peskykat says...

I took my Mum around the town in her wheelchair and it was good to see the turnout was very good, only one problem that could do with sorting out before next years event - was a struggle to get through the crowds down towards the Debenhams end of the area , the ice rink was in the perfect area however the stage would have been better off near the TKMaxx, Cinema area, as it left very little room for pushchairs and wheelchairs to be taken through likewise returning to the New Look , etc end, if that can't be arrange then maybe fence off 2 pathways for easy access, one each way. Thank you to all those involved in the evening, you did a fantastic job !!!
I took my Mum around the town in her wheelchair and it was good to see the turnout was very good, only one problem that could do with sorting out before next years event - was a struggle to get through the crowds down towards the Debenhams end of the area , the ice rink was in the perfect area however the stage would have been better off near the TKMaxx, Cinema area, as it left very little room for pushchairs and wheelchairs to be taken through likewise returning to the New Look , etc end, if that can't be arrange then maybe fence off 2 pathways for easy access, one each way. Thank you to all those involved in the evening, you did a fantastic job !!! peskykat

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