Thousands enjoy Victorian market

Heather Newton (left) and Charlie Ramshaw, both 16 and from Whitley Bay High School, who volunteered at the North Shields Victorian Market.

Heather Newton (left) and Charlie Ramshaw, both 16 and from Whitley Bay High School, who volunteered at the North Shields Victorian Market.

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THOUSANDS of people descended on North Shields last weekend for one of the biggest Christmas events on the borough calendar.

More than 100 stalls selling a wide range of gifts, crafts, food and more, were among the attractions at the 13th annual North Shields Victorian Christmas Market, held in Northumberland Square.

Mayor Linda Arkley officially opened the event last Saturday, and was followed by a carol service led by local churches and the Salvation Army while the cast of Playhouse Whitley Bay’s Aladdin pantomime also joined in the celebrations.

A Punch and Judy show, a falconry display, Morris dancing, Bill Brookman and his one man band Christmas spectacular, street entertainment courtesy of the YMCA and a grand finale Christmas sing-a-long all featured throughout the weekend.

A new bandstand was one of the highlights of this year’s event, showcasing school children and local choirs singing Christmas carols.

Town centre manager John Fleet said: “Once again the market was a wonderful success.

“It was such a pleasure to see so many people turn out and get involved in all the festivities, and support the stallholders, many of which return year after year.

“The event is a real highlight on the festive calendar for locals and visitors alike, and seeing people so happy throughout the weekend makes the planning all worthwhile.”

The market is organised each year by a partnership including North Tyneside Council, North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce, local churches and schools.

The event was also supported this year by Kier North Tyneside, TT2 and The Beacon Centre.

For further information or to enquire about next year’s event – taking place on Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9, – contact John Fleet on (0191) 643 6419 or visit www.victorianmarket.co.uk