On 7th and 8th December, Shotley Bridge will again return to its Victorian Roots with its’ increasingly popular Christmas Event. This year, the fifth event, the Shotley Bridge Business and Community Partnership are planning for a Dickensian theme to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Dickens.
So far, the event has been a great success and is attracting larger and larger crowds as there is always so much going on.There will be entertainment in the Methodist Church Hall, including children from the Shotley Bridge Infant and Junior School who are planning a performance with a Dickensian theme. Consett Brass Band and the Sage Choir will also be performing. Santa will be present at Sarah Thew Photography and he will be lighting the tree. The One in Seven Drama Group will perform a play with a Dickensian theme but with a local twist! Refreshments will be available in the church hall. Even two years ago when we had a really heavy snowfall, people managed to attend in their droves! It is really lovely to see that more and more people are coming in Victorian outfits, really getting into the spirit of things. As always the emphasis is on raising money for charity and once again, the funds raised will be donated to Willow Burn Hospice with a small proportion going towards Blooming Shotley Bridge. Last year, we raised a total of £1,800. The village won a Silver award this year in Northumbria in bloom so the extra funds have brought rewards. The village really did look lovely with all the flowers in full bloom, despite the terrible weather and flooding of nearly biblical proportions that the village endured this summer!
Carol singing around the tree is a must and will take place on the Friday evening. Santa always arrives on the Saturday morning on a beautiful horse and carriage. The horses are so beautiful and with the drivers dressed in Victorian outfits, it is truly a majestic sight! After safely delivering Santa, carriage rides are offered through the village. The sound hooves in the snow and the tinkling of the carriage bells, mixed with the traditional Christmas songs drifting through the chilly air from the choir really brings you back to the Victorian era!
The programme is not fully set out yet and there have been some interesting suggestions from street entertainers. In addition, there will be Christmas Fayres at St Cuthbert’s Church Hall, The Village Hall and Our Lady of the Rosary Church.
To support the Dickensian theme, each business is to be allocated a Dickens story and will have clues for visitors to find to win a prize. A total of 15 businesses are participating this year as well as all the local churches, community organisations and Shotley Bridge infant and Junior Schools. There are often good bargains and discounts to be had from the shops as well as a raffle.
Activities on Friday 7th (5pm – 8pm) and Saturday 8th (9.45 – 5pm)
As an extra bonus, there will be free parking at Shotley Bridge Junior School and also at Shotley Bridge Cricket Club.