Each year, our town of Lostwithiel plays host to the annual event of Dickensian Evening – a tradition which has been running for many years.
Our small antique-filled streets and shop windows delight visitors and locals with the theme of Dickens literature at its heart. Shopkeepers, choir singers and passers-by dress up in Victorian garb and welcome everybody who arrives to join in with the festivities.
This year, it was no different. Dressed up in our very best 19th century attire, we spent the night welcoming customers and celebrating all things Dickens here at Lost in Books.
With carol singers outside, we opened our doors to customers with a cheerful smile, homemade festive biscuits and a glass of mulled wine. We were gladly joined by Guillemot Press, who had a stunning array of poetry collections to purchase, hosted by poets Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave.
Needless to say, it was a wonderful evening and our doors were fit to burst much of the night – and we even sold a good few books too.
Throughout the event, stallholders were available with delicious food, Cornish alcohol and local arts and crafts displayed for passers-by to see while carol singers sang on long into the night, complete with white trimmed hats and sleeves and bells to accompany their songs. A lantern parade began the evening, with fantastic stilt walkers clad in bright colours greeting people and taking photos along the streets.
Lostwithiel Museum spent the evening welcoming people through its doors, offering an insight into the history and culture of our small antique town on a night like no other.
Shop windows created displays dedicated to Dickens literature, lit up with twinkling lights and adorned with beautiful paper decorations. Wheelbarrows full to the brim with mistletoe were pushed around by sellers offering some further festive magic to the evening, bought by many and shared between loved ones.
Father Christmas even paid a special visit to join in with all the fun. He was found sitting in his grotto dressed in true Victorian fashion in gorgeous emerald robes. You could find him inside the church with his elves and helpers, while traditional carol services were being sung surrounded by beautiful Christmas trees.
The unmistakable joy of an old fashioned fairground merry go round was also standing proud next to all the food stalls, where children could play and take in all the sights beneath the twinkling lights.
What’s more, after enjoying a ride they could happily tuck into some bright blue, or pink, candyfloss – a treat we’re sure many adults enjoyed too.
When everything began to wind down and the last of our mulled wine was sipped, the evening continued on in local pubs with live music and drinks aplenty. It seems, despite the cold weather, it was another tremendous success.
As the night drew to a close for Lost in Books, we eventually blew out the candles, untied the strings of our bonnets, and listened to the last carol before finally saying goodnight.
However, with a bright optimism and a slight thrill at what 2020 will bring, we can gladly say we’re looking forward to the next 12 months ahead and celebrating another night of Dickensian fun with the world.
“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” – Charles Dickens