PICTURE SPECIAL: Warwick Victorian Market celebrates its 40th anniversary - The Stratford Observer

PICTURE SPECIAL: Warwick Victorian Market celebrates its 40th anniversary

Stratford Editorial 27th Nov, 2023   0

WARWICK’S Victorian Evening celebrated its 40th anniversary in true Dickensian spirit.

The event returned to the town on Thursday (November 23) with a Victorian market, era-themed rides, street entertainment and the Christmas lights switch-on.

Visitors could browse the stalls of crafts, gifts and festive food, with traders decked out in traditional costume.

Shoppers could also get into the 19th century spirit with the annual competition for the best dressed Victorian.

New for this year, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary, was a Victorian themed photo booth, a new cake walk ride, mime acts, a magician, and a band in Victorian steampunk costume.

And there was entertainment on the stage ahead of the lights switch-on.

The all important button was pressed by Warwick mayor Coun Oliver Jacques with the help of local young boxers Serena Mali and Jaya Kalsi, as well as organisers of the original Victorian Evening.

The first Victorian event, then known as the ‘Victorian Street Fair’, was held in the town on Thursday December 8 1983 organised by the Warwick Chamber of Trade. Then chairman John Shaw, who ran the Post Office on Smith Street with his wife Janet, organised the event with other members of the Chamber including Don Hanson who ran the leather shop on Swan Street.

With little money but a lot of determination, they managed to put on a spectacular event which spanned from St John’s House all the way up to Market Square.

Janet Shaw said: “The first Victorian Street Fair was organised to help unite the town and the businesses all the way from Smith Street to Swan Street. Our first event was put together with only a £7 budget and a lot of begging and borrowing.

“We managed to bring the town together, an estimated 20,000 people were in the town centre and the police were even having to turn people away.’’

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