A Victorian Christmas in the Christchurch Heritage Street

Wednesday, 09 December 2015

Step back in time to A Victorian Christmas at Canterbury Museum. From 19 to 23 December, Canterbury Museum will bring to life the magic of Christmas in the heritage Christchurch Street, with a daily appearance by Father Christmas and entertainment for all to enjoy.

A Victorian Christmas 2015

Father Christmas and The Plainsmen singers at Canterbury Museum.

A Victorian Christmas at Canterbury Museum features a Christmas tree in the Museum foyer festooned with hand-embroidered decorations based on nineteenth century designs. Other decorations include hand-painted glass baubles and replica Victorian Christmas cards.

The much-loved Christchurch Street has been adorned with realistic pine and spruce reminiscent of the decorations used by early Christchurch residents, reminding them of the English winter Christmas they had left behind. A Victorian-style Father Christmas will make a daily appearance in the street between 12.30 and 2.00 pm.

Canterbury Museum Curator Human History Marguerite Hill says there is more than 1,000 years of history behind today’s Father Christmas.

“One of the more unique aspects of a Victorian Father Christmas is his lush green velvet robes which symbolise the coming of spring – although he has been many colours over hundreds of years including red, blue and purple,” she says.

Marguerite worked with Kathy Beswick from Malthouse Costumes to create the accurate Victorian ‘look’ using green velvet and replica ermine. The intricate costume was completed with a natural wooden staff, leather boots and a headpiece of holly. Younger visitors are invited to launch Father Christmas into the twenty-first century by taking their photo with him and posting it on the Canterbury Museum Facebook page. (Best photo wins a prize from the Museum Store – terms and conditions from the Museum website).

Families can also try their hand at making a Victorian-style Christmas decoration and The Plainsmen, a well-established barber shop chorus, will perform Christmas carols in the Street (11.00 to 11.30 am, 19, 20 and 22 December).
A Victorian Christmas at Canterbury Museum from 19 to 23 December and includes The Great Museum Santa Search. All specific times, dates and conditions at www.canterburymuseum.com

Free public event; donations appreciated.

Supported by The Christmas Hut, Malthouse Costumes, The Plainsmen and The Canterbury Embroiderers Guild.