The Victorian age is one that is greatly revered in British culture.
Ruled by the eponymous Queen Victoria, Britain was never greater than it was at this time.
The British Empire was still intact and stretched out across vast swathes of the globe. Business owners and enterprising individuals took advantage of the influence that the British had over the world by investing in brave new ideas; whilst factories and machines rose out of the ground, filling the cities with smog and precious capital.
The Victorians existed on the very cusp of the modern age. Class boundaries were beginning to erode, a middle-class was rising and even the lower-classes had the opportunity to enjoy some leisure time. Holidays, as we know them, became a fashionable way to spend this newfound leisure time and, as a result, the seaside towns of Britain began to boom. Although these kinds of holidays have, by and large, gone out of fashion now, their spirit lives on in the picturesque breaks that British people take in luxurious static caravans and campsites around the country.
Despite the traditional Victorian seaside holiday no longer being in vogue, there are still thousands of people actively interested in the Victorians and the way that they lived their lives.
If you’d like to take in a traditional Music Hall Show or sample what life was like back under the reign of Queen Victoria, then there are a few events that regularly take place across the country:
September 17th 4pm//Late Joys – Museum of Comedy, London
Up until their exit from their original theatre in 2002, the performers at the Players’ Theatre had been putting on their traditional Music Hall shows for an uninterrupted 66 years, following their founding in 1936. After their space beneath Charing Cross Station had to be evacuated they’ve been continuing to perform at a variety of spaces around London – the Museum of Comedy being their latest home.
October 24th-26th 2pm//Traditional Music Hall Show – Brick Lane Music Hall, London
Brick Lane Music Hall is one of the few purpose built Music Halls that remain in existence in the country. Named after its original home, before its relocation to London’s Dockland, regular variety and music shows are put on here with a changing roster of performers. A regular Cockney singalong pays tribute to the Cockney stars of Music Hall, whilst the Traditional Music Hall Show offers a broad sample of the genre.
November 23rd 7pm//Kathy Clark of Historic England on Bandstands – Friends’ Meeting House, Sheffield
Kathy Clark has been working for Historic England for the last 3 years as an Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas. It’s her job to take an in depth look at the oldest buildings that we have here in Britain and assess them for any restoration work that might need to be carried out. Kathy has been visiting touring the country talking about a passion of hers: Victorian Bandstands – a topic that will no doubt be of interest to anyone looking to learn more about Victorian culture.
December 8th-10th All Weekend//Victorian Weekend – Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire
Large swathes of the British Public have a great respect for the Victorian Era that sometimes borders on the fascistic. Nowhere is this adoration more noticeable than at a traditional Victorian Fair. This year, Robin Hood’s Bay will be holding it’s 24th Victorian Festival, with the quaint village being completely made over to resemble the Victorian era. If you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, you’ll want to arrive in Victorian dress-up!