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Broadstairs Dickens Festival 2015

A town will time-travel back to the days of Victorian England during its annual Dickens Festival.

Broadstairs will come alive on Saturday for the opening parade from the war memorial in Pierremont Park to Victoria Gardens overlooking Viking Bay.

Many of the characters that inhabited the pages of Dickens’s most famous novels will be on view, while ladies and gentlemen will parade in beautifully-designed period costumes.

Broadstairs Dickens Festival
Broadstairs Dickens Festival

The parade begins at 2.30pm, but the day begins at 10am with a Victorian country fair in Victoria Gardens; it will stay there until the festival ends on Friday, June 19.

Entertainment that night will include a production of Barnaby Rudge, adapted from the Charles Dickens novel by John Goodrum and centred on The Warren, the scene of a long-ago murder.

It will be performed nightly at the Sarah Thorne Memorial Theatre between Saturday and Wednesday, June 17, at 7.30pm, with a Sunday matinee on June 14 at 4pm.

There will also be a concert by Thanet Male Voice Choir on Saturday’s opening night, at Holy Trinity Church at 7.45pm.

A huge variety of events continuing throughout the week will include a free dog show at 2pm on Sunday in Victoria Gardens, a free beach party at Viking Bay from 11.30am on Monday, June 15, a talk on the history of Manston Airport in the marquee in Victoria Gardens on Tuesday, June 16, at 1.30pm and a free Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the bandstand at 2.30pm on Wednesday, June 17.

Broadstairs Dickens Festival
Broadstairs Dickens Festival

Festival programmes are widely available in Broadstairs shops and at the tourist information kiosk. Barnaby Rudge tickets cost £10.50 for adults and £5.50 for children in advance, or £12.50 and £6.50 at the door. Thanet Male Voice Choir tickets cost £6. History of Manston Airport tickets cost £1. Email broadstairsdickens@hotmail.com. Visit www.broadstairsdickens festival.co.uk.

Charles Dickens visited Broadstairs regularly from 1837 until 1859 and wrote about the town in his short story Our English Watering-Place.

Broadstairs Dickens Festival was launched in 1937 to mark the centenary of Dickens’s first visit by Gladys Waterer, a former resident at Dickens House.

It was launched with a staging of David Copperfield and publicised by people in Victorian dress. Apart from during the Second World War the festival has been held annually in the third week of June ever since. Visit www.broadstairsdickens festival.co.uk.

Broadstairs Dickens Festival
Broadstairs Dickens Festival
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