Ulverston’s Dickensian Festival is remembered for its 2003 event

Thousands of people turned out for the fifth annual Dickensian Christmas Festival in Ulverston in 2003.

It was like walking into a scene from Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol with the finely dressed ladies and gentlemen wearing period costumes and the sound of festive carols and the smell of roasting chestnuts in the air.

The likes of Oliver Twist, Bill Sikes and his dog Bullseye also roamed the cobbled streets of the market town, which were filled with traditional stalls.

The two-day festivities were sponsored by the Evening Mail.

The festival had entertainment for all, with marching bands, a flea circus and street entertainment, Punch and Judy, street organs, a funfair and even a shy coco.

Among the performers was Lindal’s Garry Gifford, dressed in a Victorian suit and cape, who put on a traditional street performance with a contemporary twist.

A crowd of people gathered to see the grand procession around the city.

Ulverston Mayor, Cllr Norman Bishop Rowe and his group of French mayors, councilors and guests from Ulverston’s twin town, Albert, joined Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the parade.

Santa Claus appeared on a horse-drawn wagon from the Robinson’s Brewery and Mr and Mrs Bumble and the other Dickensian characters paraded through the streets.

The period costume contest followed with prizes for the best adults and children in costume.

Cllr Bishop-Rowe, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and manager Stephen Potter of Woolworth judged the event.

Angela Smith, from Westbourne Crescent, Barrow, and her family won Best Group in Period Costume. They dressed as Victorian ladies and chimney sweeps and included Mrs Smith’s son Joseph, four, her father Tony Zaccarini, her nephew Kieran, five, and her niece Abbie, six. Ms. Smith’s mother, Susan Zaccarini, made their costumes.

Cllr Bishop Rowe turns on the Christmas lights as he shoots a giant cracker with Mr Bumble at Market Place.

Later, St Mary’s Hospice held a Celebrate Life service.

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