Ilkeston - What The Dickens!
w/e 30 November 2014
All this week's pictures were taken with a Fuji FinePix L50

Erewash MuseumThe illuminated facade of Dalby House (left) stood out like a beacon in the night sky as droves of people made their way to the Erewash Museum on Friday night and the uninitiated may well have asked "What the Dickens is happening?" or more probably used fruitier language to phrase the same question. The answer Festive Foodwhichever way the question was asked would have been "It's a Dickensian Christmas event" which was held in conjunction with the switching on ceremony of Ilkeston's Christmas lights.

In the old kitchen at the museum, a table was filled with tempting festive food (right) and a cook dressed in Victorian costume was allowing youngsters to stir the Christmas pudding mix before asking them to make a wish.
Bill Sykes and Nancy

There were more people in costume outside and these two were depicting Bill Sykes and Nancy from Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist".
Carol Singers

We left the museum to the sound of more costumed characters who were singing Christmas carols.
Stilt Walkers

Making our way to the Market Place we encountered three stilt walkers who were part of the entertainment on offer. There was also a juggler and a number of fairground rides to keep the assembled crown entertained throughout the event.
Charity Stalls

The Lower Market Place was full of charity stalls where numerous goods were on sale and games available to play all with the intention of raising funds for local charities.

As we neared the Town Hall there was a pen containing two reindeer and their handlers. While we were there it was a case of heads and tails but if the reindeer were there, then Santa must be close by.
(The rear view of one of the reindeer also brought to mind Mike Harding's amusing tale "You Can See The Angel's Bum, Miss Worswick!")
Town Hall

Not long after, Santa actually appeared on the Town Hall balcony but soon came down to switch on the Christmas lights as the bells at St Mary's struck seven o'clock.
Firework Display

The switching on of the lights also signalled the start of a firework display emanating from the roof of the Town Hall.
Ronnie and the Rockits

As the noise of the fireworks died down, Ronnie and the Rockits took their places to continue the entertainment with a selection of music playing songs mainly from the 1960s.
Santa;s Cabin

As the music played parents queued with their children to visit another clone of the man in red sitting in "Santa's Cabin". I always wonder if the children ever find it confusing to have two "Santas" in close proximity but judging by the length of the queue I don't suppose they are that bothered especially if he makes another visit to their homes on the night of December 24th/25th!

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