What the Dickens for a festive step back in time

Rotherham Town Centre Dickensian Xmas
Rotherham Town Centre Dickensian Xmas
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Sights, sounds and smells of a traditional festive time were brought back to life for a Dickensian Christmas in South Yorkshire.

Visitors took a step back in time with a packed menu of retro activities in Rotherham, including Punch and Judy shows, steam train rides and dancing – as well as a hog-roast, roasted chestnuts, live music and crafts stalls and workshops. Coun Amy Rushforth, Rotherham Council cabinet member for culture and tourism, said: “There’s no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to enjoy a real traditional celebration that harks back to the classic tale of A Christmas Carol and, although there were no ghosts there, everyone was certainly in high spirits.”

Mel Wilson, of the Leicestershire Historical Dance Society, who performed on the day, said: “It is a great way of encouraging people to come out for the Christmas markets and get involved with the town this festive season.

“We performed throughout the day and the atmosphere was great; people were really receptive and were even joining in, which was great fun.” The celebrations continued at Sheffield University’s two-day Winter Wonderland event, held at Endcliffe Village, where visitors could browse a variety of festive treats, including Christmas stalls, a rodeo reindeer and a bouncy castle.

A spokesman for the event said: “The event was raising money for local charity Cavendish Cancer Care, which offers support and counselling along with various complementary therapies for sufferers and their families.

“On Friday, our university Gospel Choir entertained the crowd with some classic carols, before visitors took to the ice on our very own ice rink.

“On Saturday, it was the turn of our Big Band to spread some festive cheer.”

And things were certainly getting messy at Greenhill Methodist Church on Saturday as an interactive ‘live’ nativity got under way, with animals on loan from Graves Park Animal Farm in Norton.

Families turned out to watch volunteers bring the age-old story to a modern crowd as visitors were told the story of the birth of baby Jesus.