December 13, 2015

Dickens on Centre, Amelia Island, FL

The first Dickens on Centre event has concluded and we hope it becomes an annual festival. In it, our small island town steps back to the time of Charles Dickens and the Victorian period, which
lasted from 1830 to 1901, the reign of Queen Victoria of England.  Anytime during the two weekends of this Christmas period celebration, with the smallest effort, you could imagine you were among the citizens of the time. All in period costume, men and woman strolled and wished Merry Christmas to passers-by, a man walked and juggled at the same time, a chimney sweep was spotted, a soldier played his drum, chestnuts were sold,  a kids' zone with movies and crafts was available, bobbies trolled for bad guys and a beef-eater, in full costume, appeared now and again. I was a participant, singing Christmas carols along with my husband, Bruce.  We strolled down our historic Centre Street and ended on the stage, invited there by the musicians playing.  I don't know if we were singing with them or they were accompanying us. Whichever it was, it was fun.

 James T. Hurley, our actual Chief of Police of Fernandina 
with Gil Langley, tourist development, as a colorful beefeater

Vendors' tents were set up on several blocks of Centre.  Food and fancies were offered and it was a great place to pick up Christmas gifts. I was there, signing my novels. For an author whose stories are set in Dickens period, the late 1800s, telling folks how the stories take place along the very street on which they are walking and with me wearing Victorian garb... Well, was a real hoot for this writer.
  
A doily pinned at the neck with a brooch, a long-sleeved blouse, a long skirt, a decorated beach hat, a velvet jacket and I found my instant Victorian costume! -jmm

   Robert Severance- chimney sweep and Keith Klawinski- drummer

Tiny Tim joined the carolers
 
  Jane Marie book signing on Centre Street

 Santa added to the fun!

  
Might Mr. Keith become a GOODBYE LIEr?

If they decide to make this an annual event, make plans now to attend.  You'll have a fine time.  We all did!

Something about Bobbies:
The origin of the name bobbies (taken from http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/why-are-british-police-officers-called-bobbies-) In London, the policemen were so identified with the politician [Robert Peel] who created them, that they were referred to as “Peelers” or—more memorably—“Bobbies,” after the popular nickname for Robert .

Something about Beefeaters: 
( taken from http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/beefeaters.htm)
The guards at the Tower of London are called Yeoman Warders. In principle, they are responsible for looking after any prisoners at the Tower and safeguarding the British crown jewels, but in practice they act as tour guides and are a tourist attraction in their own right. There are twelve Yeomen Warders. While their role is usually confined to the Tower of London, the Yeomen Warders do take part in one State ceremony. At Coronations, they form a guard of honour inside the annexe at Westminster Abbey.Their nickname is Beefeater.