Characters bring to life bygone era for Chippenham's festive spectacular

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Preparing for the festive Victorian day are mayor Andy Phillips, mayoress Nina Phillips, Coun Peter Hutton, PR manager Emma King, David Dorey, Mellissa Barnett, Elle Bowden and Vicky Walsh. Front Brian Mortimer, with a penny farthing Preparing for the festive Victorian day are mayor Andy Phillips, mayoress Nina Phillips, Coun Peter Hutton, PR manager Emma King, David Dorey, Mellissa Barnett, Elle Bowden and Vicky Walsh. Front Brian Mortimer, with a penny farthing

The Market Place in Chippenham will take on a Victorian vibe on Saturday.

Chippenham Town Council and Chippenham Area Board have joined forces to bring the first Victorian fair to the town.

The Market Place will be packed with stalls from noon until 5pm. There will be a Victorian emporium, a fairground organ and a collection of bicycles from the era.

People dressed as a Victorian town crier, soldiers, chimney sweeps, match seller and a nanny will greet visitors.

Friends of Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre will demonstrate willow weaving and display Victorian photography, while members of Chippenham Folk Festival will perform a mummers’ play.

There will be a hog roast and various local businesses will be selling food, jewellery, antiques and crafts, while Victorian carol singers will provide festive sounds.

Free parking is being offered in all Wiltshire Council-run car parks in Chippenham on the day.

Emma King, tourism, events and PR manager at Chippen-ham Town Council, said: “This is the first time we have organised an event of this type in Chippenham and the response has been huge.”

The idea was championed by Peter Hutton, a Wiltshire councillor for Chippenham and member of the Area Board.

He said: “I thought it would be nice to have a community backed event in Chippenham at Christmas following on from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic torch relay.

“I hope people will come into the town and spend their money and help stimulate the economy. We hope to repeat it next year and the year after that.”

The fair will be opened by mayor Coun Andy Phillips and mayoress Nina Phillips.

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