Here come the Victorians

THE golden days of Empire return in all their glory this weekend as Ilfracombe Victorian Celebrations kick off on Saturday with a week of nostalgic fun. The crinoline clad ladies, suffragettes, bathing belles, parades and parties and much more are back to

THE golden days of Empire return in all their glory this weekend as Ilfracombe Victorian Celebrations kick off on Saturday with a week of nostalgic fun.

The crinoline clad ladies, suffragettes, bathing belles, parades and parties and much more are back to entertain, beginning on Saturday with a grand parade along the High Street at 1.45pm.

Folk dressed as they would have in the heyday of the Empire, horse drawn carriages, riders, miniature horses and Queen Victoria herself will be joined by local youth marching bands as they make their way from the Candar at the top of the High Street to the Trinity Fair at the Vicarage Gardens in St Brannocks Road.

The fair opens at 2pm and will feature traditional cream teas, sideshows, stalls, amusements and bargains.


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Sunday sees the crowning of the Victorian Prince and Princess at 2pm at the Landmark Pavilion, for children aged seven to 12 years, followed by promenading along the seafront, music and a picnic.

Highlights for the rest of the week include a Teddy Bears' Picnic on Monday at 12 noon by the Landmark, followed at 2.30pm by the opportunity to meet Mr Dickens and His Characters as they are brought to life.

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At 1pm on Tuesday enjoy Natters with Naturalists, Darwin, and the Dodo at the Landmark Pavilion and at 2pm Exmoor Zoo near Bratton Fleming features the Desperate Men Theatre Group. Both events offer an informative, imaginative and amusing insight into Charles Darwin and his work. There's free entry to the zoo for anyone wearing Victorian costume during the week.

Join the Pearlies on Tuesday evening from 7.30pm at the Wheel on Ilfracombe sea front to roll out a barrel of fun.

The best dressed Victorian Bathing Belles and Beaus will be taking the plunge at the harbour beach on Wednesday at 11.30am before parading to the Landmark Pavilion for judging.

Later, the Mayor extends a cordial invitation to his Garden party at Runnymede Gardens from 2.30pm for a congenial afternoon.

At 6.30pm meet at the Candar for a ghost walk, a spirited but not strenuous stroll around some of the town's haunted places. Open to all.

Visit www.ilfvc.org.uk for a full programme listing and more information.

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