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Heritage market and historic pubs join the festivities as Hull’s Victorian Christmas marks 20th anniversary

A Victorian Christmas celebration promises to be bigger and better than ever as it marks its 20th anniversary in the Old Town of Hull next week.

The event, organised by Hull Museums and Heritage Learning on Saturday November 30, will bring a day of festive family activities to the Museums Quarter.

And for the first time the fun will spread further afield as businesses come on board to present a heritage market which will take Christmas carols and crafts into historic Old Town pubs.

Licensees of the Manchester Arms in Scale Lane and the Sailmakers Arms in High Street will welcome market stalls onto their premises and will also have festive attractions inside.

Lisa Fowler of the Manchester Arms said: “We will have two market stalls on the forecourt outside the pub and some fantastic activities inside.

“As far as I’m concerned Christmas is all about families so we’ve invited a lot of parents and children to join us for our special early opening at 10am.

“Last year was our first Christmas at this pub and we had a family day. We hope to repeat that again this year but first we’re going to all enjoy the Victorian Christmas.”

Dennis Wann, licensee at the Sailmakers Arms, will host market stalls in the archway and courtyard and in the pub itself, with visitors also being entertained by a magician, a sketch artist and buskers touring the area.

Dennis said: “We’re lining up all sorts of attractions to support the market and the events run by Hull Museums and organised by Heritage Learning. We’ll also have our usual menu of fantastic pies and Cornish pasties, a great selection of real ales and all our staff dressed in Victorian garb.”

Paula Morrell said the Victorian Market is the busiest day of the year at Flavours Café, opposite the Streetlife Museum, with four staff working and all dressed in Victorian outfits as thousands of visitors and shoppers descend on the area.

Paula said: “We normally only open between 8am and 3pm Monday to Friday but I’ve been here nearly four years now and we open even though it’s a Saturday because the Victorian Christmas event attracts a lot of people to the area.

“We’ll have a special menu for the day and we expect to be even busier this year because the businesses are involved and the market is a big attraction.”

Organiser of the market Julie Buffey said there will be around 30 stalls and the emphasis will be on history and crafts.

She said: “It will have a Victorian theme and we will focus on the sort of hand-crafted items that make perfect Christmas presents.

“Our Trinity Open Market has become increasingly popular among shoppers and stallholders since we launched it last year and now we are taking it on tour.

“HullBID provides the market stalls, and a team of staff to put them up before every event and remove them afterwards, which is great support.”

HullBID City Centre Manager Kathryn Shillito said: “This is a double celebration for Hull Museums and Heritage Learning because it’s Christmas and because their event has now been running for 20 years.

“I am delighted that HullBID is able to help support businesses in the area as they make the Victorian Christmas event bigger and more exciting than ever. The opening of the new bridge has made the Old Town more accessible and we know from our own experience that an event like this can really attract people and boost business.”

The Victorian Christmas activities will take place from 10am until 4pm on Saturday November 30 and will illustrate the influence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on turning Christmas into a family celebration.

The market stalls will take place in forecourts and courtyards along Scale Lane and High Street and within the Museum Gardens and a vintage bus will transport shoppers from Paragon Interchange to Gandhi Way from 9.45am with a flat fare of 50p.

Other attractions will include real horse and carriage rides around the Old Town and a fancy dress competition. Scrooge will be based in the Streetlife Museum, telling visitors his Christmas story and begrudgingly giving key rings containing a real Victorian penny to the first 100 members of the public to arrive in Victorian costume, while the two lucky winners of the fancy dress competition will win family tickets to“Jack and the Beanstalk” at Hull New Theatre on Thursday December 5.

Families are encouraged to get involved in Christmas preparations Victorian style, by creating their own Christmas tree decorations out of scraps of material or newspaper before the event, then taking their efforts in on the day to be displayed on Victoria and Albert’s tree.

The Heritage Learning team will also run a period photography booth where, for just £2 per print, visitors can pose in original Victorian costume for portraits captured by a professional photographer and printed on the spot ready to take away. They can then visit the craft activities at Wilberforce House to transform it into a Victorian Christmas card.

For further details visit the Heritage Learning website at

Download an event programme for the Victorian Christmas event here

Visit for more information about Christmas events and offers in Hull city centre.

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RT @TrinityMarket1: Shop local this Saturday we are open 7.30 am to 5.30 pm Be a local tourist! #hull #localtourist @VHEY_UK @VHEY_Partne… 15:59 - 10/07/2020

Business highlight

Heritage market and historic pubs join the festivities as Hull’s Victorian Christmas marks 20th anniversary

A Victorian Christmas celebration promises to be bigger and better than ever.

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