MALTON stepped back in time for the first weekend of the town’s annual Dickensian Festival.

The annual event, organised to celebrate Charles Dickens’ links to the town began on Friday, with the Big Sing with about 180 school children performing their favourite Christmas carols at the Milton Rooms.

On Saturday, Malton town centre came alive with Dickensian spirit, with Victorian street theatre from Hardcastle’s Mighty Excelsior Theatre Company at the Malton Food Lovers Christmas market.

Horse and carriage rides were also available and there were special performance of A Christmas Carol in the Counting House Museum.

On Sunday, there was A Christmas Carol Lunchtime Gala, at the Milton Rooms, with two contrasting versions of A Christmas Carol.

Brian Oxberry, from the Malton Dickens Society, which runs the Counting House Museum, said: “We were packed out with visitors each and we had to turn people away from my two performances of A Christmas Carol as there wasn’t even standing room.”

This weekend Miriam Margolyes will join Charles Dickens’ great, great, great granddaughter Lucinda Hawksley in a question and answer session after a screening of the new film The Man Who Invented Christmas on Saturday, at 4.40pm, at The Palace Cinema in Malton.

The festival concludes on Sunday, as Miriam and Lucinda explore what it would have been like to take part in a real Dickensian Christmas, with a book signing afterwards at the Talbot Hotel in Malton.

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