It was the best of times

By Richard Wright

Monday, December 9, 2013

 

It was the best of times

Ryde Town crier Steve King leads Queen Victoria's carriage down Union Street as part ofthe Dickensian Christmas. Picture by Jennifer Burton.

AN Isle of Wight town had a Dickens of a festive weekend.

Ryde put on the Victorian style and struck a deal with Wightlink and Hovertravel to attract shoppers from the mainland too.

Organised by the town’s business association, Ryde Dickensian Christmas festival coincided with free parking in Isle of Wight Council car parks, as part of Small Business Saturday.

"The car parks were crammed and the feedback we have had from traders and from shoppers was very positive. We will definitely be doing it again," said business association vice-chairman Wayne Whittle.

Cllr Whittle, who is Ryde’s mayor, was among those to meet Queen Victoria as she arrived at the Royal Victoria Arcade in Union Street.

His six-year-old daughter, Charlie, was presented to the 'royal' visitor.

There was a range of street entertainment over the weekend, festive fare and storytelling and Santa’s grotto in the Heritage Ryde Society’s Royal Victoria Arcade museum.

On Sunday afternoon an illuminated carnival parade took place through the town to complete the business association’s second annual event.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk

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