Festive spirit of Dickens in the Old Town

Bridlington Old Town Dickensian Festival'PA1149-20b'Alice Burden 13
Bridlington Old Town Dickensian Festival'PA1149-20b'Alice Burden 13

The Old Town Dickensian Festival lived up to Great Expectations on Sunday as crowds flocked to the historic high street for stalls, costumes and a unique Christmas atmosphere.

The High Street was packed with 60 stalls and entertainment was provided by the Makarra Morris morris dancers, the Hunmanby Silver Band and the Bridlington U3A Choir.

Bridlington Old Town Dickensian Festival'PA1149-20i'The Rowan Tree'Teressa White, Rachel Sawyer, Emme O'Reilly

Bridlington Old Town Dickensian Festival'PA1149-20i'The Rowan Tree'Teressa White, Rachel Sawyer, Emme O'Reilly

The festival’s first scarecrow competition showcased the creative talent of the Old Town as life-size DickensCrows adorned the street.

The 20 DickensCrows hung from windows and stared out of shop windows, from the superior Mr Scrooge to the sinister Bill Sykes.

Judged by artist Rosemary Abrahams, the joint winners of the competition were Miss Havisham, created by the Prchlik family, and Nancy, made by Corie Brownlie.

The winner of the popular vote was ‘Pip and Co’ entered by Heather’s Gallery.

The main feature of the festival is to enjoy Christmas in the style of Dickens and people certainly took that message to heart as a flood of costumed characters converged on the Old Town.

Diane Davison, Chair of the Old Town Association, said: “It was a really good turnout, the street was full for most of the afternoon.

“There was a rainy spell when we worried people might leave but everybody stayed which was great.”

Sunday was the eleventh time the Old Town has put on the festival, which is now firmly established in Bridlington’s calendar.

The festival has been steadily growing year upon year since, though its main purpose remains the same.

“We believe it’s a beautiful part of town but a lot of people don’t know that it exists.” said Diane.

“We wanted to raise the profile of the Old Town and bring in more visitors – that was, and still is our aim.”

As well as all the activities in the high street, Santa was on hand at his grotto outside at the Georgian Rooms to entertain children.

Bridlington Priory played host to a Christmas carol service as part of the festival, with children from Martongate, Burlington Infants and Juniors, Hilderthorpe Primary and Bay Primary Schools all singing.

Mayor Cyril Marsburg was also in attendance at the service before soaking up the festival atmosphere on the high street.