Thursday, 18 December 2008

Victorian Christmasses

The joys of freelance writing means that sometimes you can't even rely on a Sunday morning lie-in.

Having been commissioned to write an article about Victorian Christmas, I'd arranged to interview the curator at Blists Hill Victorian Town, a living museum in the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge near to where I live.

It meant meeting the curator at when the museum opened, which meant getting up much earlier than normal in order to prepare and drive across to the venue. But whilst the early start did not put me in a good mood, my actual visit was brilliant, and reminded me why I enjoy doing this so much.

Not only did I get free admission to the town (currently £10.50 for adults) but the curator also took me to the Victorian Tea rooms where I conducted the interview over a wonderful tea! And after we'd chatted, I was then left to explore the whole town on my own and take pictures - the one above was taken in the Doctor's Surgery, and the Christmas card is in the style of Victorian cards, which would have been displayed everywhere in the house.

It was really interesting to learn that Christmas decorations were not usually put up until Christmas Eve. What with everybody working, there wasn't time beforehand. And most Christmas decorations were especially made out of fresh produce, so most of December was spent 'creating' the decorations, and when they were finished they were stored in the cellar to maintain their freshness, only seeing the light of day at Christmas Eve.

Of course, electric Christmas tree lights weren't around then, so they used to use candles. Now in many towns, the fire brigade would go around telling people when they could light their tree candles - in other words - they were only allowed to light them when the Fire Brigade were on duty! For most people, this meant an hour on Christmas Eve, an hour Christmas Day and an hour on Boxing Day!

So next time you tackle an assignment, and you don;t really feel up to it - persevere. You might find that you actually enjoy it!

Good luck, and I wish everyone a merry christmas and a creative new year!

1 comment:

  1. I am in a very Christmas mood this season. I’ve had my decorations up since the weekend after Thanksgiving.