The second of the recently revived Victorian Christmas Fairs was held on Saturday 29th November.

The purpose of the Fair is for the Village community of Beaulieu to celebrate winter and the onset of Christmas. It is not the first fair to be held in Beaulieu in the 1800's Beaulieu held a Cuckoo Fair. Also in times past there were events held on the frozen mill pond involving the" Old Grey Mare" and this was later replaced by a Christmas raffle with games held in the mill and mill yard until stopped by the police.

Many thousands of people came to join the festivities in our High Street which is deliberately " home spun " and with a local flavour. It is an opportunity for shops to stay open longer with great footfall. All village organisations are encouraged to join in. It is an opportunity for them to promote themselves or raise funds. Having visited the High Street for this event many visitors return afterwards to shop.

It is not all about making money as the committee are keen to provide real live seasonal music. We had two good choirs this year as well as the village band and a group. Street theatre is also important with many dressing up in period costume and role playing. This year we even had street urchins. True seasonal food is also important. ( Burgers are frowned upon but are just available)

It is not the function of the Victorian Christmas Committee to raise money for charity. Its function is to draw the village community together to celebrate the Advent season and to promote its businesses, clubs and organisations whilst inviting others to join us in a slice of village life. During the evening two charities were invited to attend. One was Waterside Cancer Support and the other Honeypot. Beaulieu Abbey Church were also in attendance raising money for Food Bank. At the next meeting of the Committee any overall surplus generated will be given to the first two charities

Frederick Norris