Christmas goes back in time

Kelham Island Victorian Market.  Matt Davis and John Overton

Kelham Island Victorian Market. Matt Davis and John Overton

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IT’S Christmas - 19th Century style!

The Victorian era came back to life at a Sheffield museum when it held its annual festive market.

Kelham Island Museum’s market brought Christmas cheer to visitors with hundreds of attractions, including funfair rides, stalls selling seasonal treats and a cast of characters from the novels of Charles Dickens.

The Escafeld Brass Band entertained the crowds with traditional songs as they gathered under the museum’s gaslamps to enjoy the Christmas celebrations, held over two days at the weekend.

Fun activities included a fairground carousel, helter-skelter and a mirror maze, while kids got the chance to meet Santa Claus in his grotto.

Characters from Kelham Island’s Living History exhibition - including Dickensian favourites Fagin and Miss Haversham - also wandered the cobbled streets.

Market-goers warmed up in the chilly weather by sampling hot chestnuts, mulled wine and a delicious hog roast provided by Whirlow Hall Farm.

Niki Connelly, events and marketing officer at Kelham Island Museum, said the market was ‘bigger and better’ then ever before, and organisers had done their best to make up for last year, when the festivities were called off because of heavy snow.

“Kelham Island is such a magical place and the Victorian Christmas Market has been a staple part of it for 20 years now. It attracts thousands of visitors,” she added.

Meanwhile at Sheffield Town Hall a vintage Christmas fair proved popular with present buyers.

With more than 40 stalls from all over the UK there were plenty of bargains on offer.

On sale were clothes, fashion from the 1940s to the 1980s, handmade jewellery, and other vintage treats.

The Vintage Tea Party drew the crowds who tucked into tea served in delicate china and tasty-looking cupcakes.

Another highlight was the Vintage Beauty Parlour, where stylists gave customers Hollywood-style makeovers.

The fair originated in Sheffield in 2008 and now travels the country visiting up to 20 cities a year.