Line up and dates revealed for new Victorian Festival

THE wraps are coming off an exciting new festival to celebrate Millport[1]'s Victorian heritage this spring. The News can reveal that the inaugural Victorian Festival[2] will take place on 27 and 28 April - and will also be honoured with a visit from Glasgow poet laureate Makar Jim Carruth. The event promises an exciting line-up of entertainment, including magic shows, fortune tellers and themed session on costumes and customs from the period, as well as music and food and drink provided by sellers in full period dress.

Mr Carruth will join festival visitors and members of the Cumbrae[3] Contemporary Poetry Society with readings about life in a farming community and the struggles of the farmer from Victorian times to the present day. One of the organisers, Frances Melling, pictured, says the whole island is excited by the potential tourism boost. She said: "We want to take people back in time to a time when life was simpler and more carefree.

"Millport owes its existence to the Victorian age , which transformed a rather grim town of excise men and farmers to a jolly, welcoming, holiday venue. "So many people enjoyed going 'doon the watter' at this time of year, so we thought it fitting to plan the event for the week after Easter. "There will be carefree activities, sing-songs and magic as the people of Millport transport visitors to a place full of games, songs and fun on the island."

She added: "Young writers from the school, who are studying the history of the Victorian seaside town, and the life of the child of the time, are also excited to have this chance to hear one of Scotland's most famous contemporary poets in person." Mr Carruth's talk will take place on Saturday April 27 at noon in the Tavern and is open to all visitors. Other acts visitors can look forward to include the old fashioned routine of sawing a person in half, an adults-only show called 'Book Em and Risk It'.

Traditional fare will include a Punch and Judy performance on the beach and organisers hope to bringing a Gin Palace to the festivities.

There will also be a children's art workshop, a pirate show, a craft event, golf and croquet.

Frances added: "We hope both visitors and all staff in shop premises will also get into the theme of the event by dressing in Victorian clothing for the weekend."


  1. ^ Millport (
  2. ^ Festival (
  3. ^ Cumbrae (

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