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Victorian and Dickensian News from around the country


Rochester Dickens Festival 2011

Wow, what a weekend!

Victorian Strollers take Mr & Mrs Rochester this year! Congratulations to Rob winning Mr Rochester, and our new member Francesca taking the Mrs Rochester title.

We also took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the characture competition!

Francesca winning 1st Place as 'The infant phenominon - Miss Nineta Crummles' from Nicholas Nickleby

Lou taking 2nd place as 'The aging parent - Mr Wemmick senior' from Great Expectations

Tc & Kris getting 3rd as 'Old Joe and son'  from A Christmas Carol

And as if Francesca didn't win enough, she also won Best Victorian home made costume first entry!

Well done to all.


Louise Copsey

Following the untimely passing of Louise, one of our most valued members, The committee for the Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival have agreed to have a memorial cup named after her as a prize for one of their competitions.. More details to follow.


Midsomer Murders

Watch out for us on Midsomer Murders! The writers have written an episode especially for us to appear in. Series 13 Episode 6 The Noble Art, with stars including John Nettles, Camille Coduri (Dr Who)and Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Carribean). We are now considered offical Supporting Artistes to the TV industry! Ask for our autographs at our next event.


Dickens World

Following our visit to Dickens World for the Hoi Polli Ball, The Victorian Strollers have been invited to attend Dickens World and help entertain the visitors. Look out for us there throughout 2010.


llandrindod wells victorian festival 2008

A good start to the week by Chloe winning the title of Miss Llandrindod! Charlie came third in the Master Llandrindod competition too! Pictures to follow.

We had a good turn out again this year. Something like 13 of us there on the first weekend! With a few interested possible new recruits too!


Strollers on tv!

Finally we  have made our acting debut. Some of our members have taken part in filming for a new BBC production possibly to air later on this year.

The production costume department are reported to have said how impressed they were with the standard and authenticity of the costumes worn by our members. Hopefully more will come of it.




Visit Irvins Amusements for your Victorian Fun Fair requirements.


It is with deep regret and much sadness that the year should start with the news that Barry Cowles one of our members from Hull has passed away after recent surgery in hospital. Our condolences go to his wife Jacqui and his family. I am told that his funeral will be very much in the Victorian style ending very much in the style that he most enjoyed.


llandrindod wells victorian festival 2007

Congratulations to TC Knight for winning the Mr Llandrindod competition, his son for coming third in the Master Llandrindod competition, Linda for winning most appropriately dressed for Henley, Jacqui from Hull for winning Mrs Llandrindod, and Louise Copsey for winning best dressed Lady on Thursday. Another Victorian Stollers victory!



Somehow Jim and Maureen went up against Gordon and Angela on a soon to be aired Victorian Special Bargain Hunt!

Picture of Bargain Hunt to be screened in September - Watch for further details!

Victorian Strollers Angela and Gordon Fielding and Jim and Maureen Samuels at the sale part filmed at Cambridge - guess who was the Red Team and who was Blue.

All will be explained on TV how Gordon broke his arm.  Readers are not allowed to know who won until the broadcast.

llandrindod wells victorian festival

Congratulations to the Knight family for winning the Best dressed man, and Best dressed family competitions. Although the weather was a bit wet, by all accounts the week was very successful. Much fun was had by all the Victorian Strollers that attended in force this year. We will be back next year. Lots of photos of our members in the Llandrindod papers.

Dickens World

 The Dickens world website is now up and running. Opening planned for April 2007.

Rochester Dickens Festival 2006

 Please Help. On Saturday 3 June Steve's Fuji Finepix S5000 digital camera was stolen off of the back of Charlie's wheelchair, at the Rochester Dickens Festival, whilst Steve was watching the Competitions in the Arena, in the Castle grounds. Consequentially, we have no pictures of the events that day. If you have any pictures of the day's events please email them to us at: Any news as to the location of the camera would be nice. A reward is available.

On a more positive note, Jim Won first prize for his outfit of Colonel, Kings Royal Rifle Corps. in the Best Dressed Victorian Gentleman (Home made) Competition. Steve Took second place with his Major 17th Lancers Home service uniform. I Guess that as Steve made both uniforms, you could say he got 1st and 2nd place in the same competition!

Congratulations to Lou for winning Best Dickens Character as Mr Smallweed from Bleak House. A shining example of not letting a disability get in the way of enjoying life. Lou has Motor Neurone syndrome and has changed his Character to suit his current medical condition.

llandrindod wells victorian festival

 It never ceases to amaze me that local councils would rather hire our their facilities to private paying customers rather than supporting their local community, for events that undoubtedly bring vast tourist trade into their towns.

It would appear that this years main events - Balls and dances etc will be held on weekdays instead of the weekends! This is because the council can apparently charge more for a weekend booking than a weekday. Lets just hope that no-one books the Pavilion at those two weekends and that they effectively shoot themselves in the foot. Apparently they wanted to charge the festival £700 per day instead of previous years £650 per week! Now that is inflation busting stuff!!

And what about the new laws on street performers! Public liability insurance (to protect people against the likely dangers of Morris dancers etc wielding lethal sticks, musical instruments and the like) and performing rights licenses at something like £23 per performance!

(These are my views and not those of the Victorian Strollers or the Llandrindod Wells Festival Committee. ed.)

State Ball Monday 21st August

Grand Ball Friday 25th August.

There will be the usual Costume sale, Tea dance etc. Afternoon events in the Pavilion and in and around Town. Possibly more street events and parades.

Rumour has it that there may be a 'Trooping of the Colour' Victorian style, attended by The 1879 Group.

Contact details for the festival:

Victorian Festival Office

Wadham House

Middleton Street

Llandrindod Wells

Powys LD1 5DG

01597 823441


Bleak House

Excellent new BBC TV series. Check out their Website for great costume ideas etc.

the rising ballad of mangal pandey

Check out this new film set during the Indian Mutiny 1857. At last a film to follow Zulu, Zulu Dawn, and the Four Feathers! Or maybe not?

Click here for the official website:


Littlehampton carnival

Steve, Beckie and the children, with a special guest member for the day- Louise, decided to enter the Littlehampton Carnival, which this year had the theme 'Moments in history'. A rather appropriate theme for what we do. To narrow our moment down a bit Steve wore his lancer officer outfit 1879. This brought us to the Zulu war. To appropriately include the 'Civilians' we decided to go with 'The Zulu war, The Homecoming'.

We were entered into the Walking group class, and were judged the Best walking group. Not bad going as we were also the smallest group by far.

The trophy is now in pride of place in our display cabinet!


 Rochester Dickens Festival

Congratulations to our newest members, as Annick wins the competition for the Best Dressed Victorian Lady’s Home-made Costume.


Article from CBC Arts website

Dickens World

CHATHAM, ENGLAND - Work is set to begin on a $140-million theme park that will bring to life the 19th century world of Charles Dickens.

Scheduled to open in April 2007, Dickens World is being spearheaded by the South East England Development Agency, a group in charge of redeveloping the area. The attraction will be located at the agency's Chatham Maritime Site – a former dockyard – in the southeast region of Chatham, where Dickens spent his childhood.

"Dickens not only lived there, but it is where he originated many of his storylines," said Kevin Christie, chief executive of the $138.7-million project. "His books provide a rich tapestry from which to draw an exciting and entertaining view of this turbulent period in our nation's history."

Dickens World will recreate the Victorian archways and cobbled streets of such books as Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. Highlights will include an Ebenezer Scrooge ride, themed shops and "burlesque" dinner shows that will provide "a menu of naughty delights in the 'Free and Easy' Victorian music hall," organizers said.

Construction on the new enclosed facility is expected to begin in the next two months. A movie theatre complex, bars and restaurants – which will be completed by October 2006 – will also be part of the overall project.

"We anticipate that visitors from all over the U.K. – and further afield – will want to visit this unique complex," said Elwyn Nicol, a project manager with the development agency.

For the original article click here:


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