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Victorian May Day in Lichfield

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
See How The Victorians Enjoyed Their Fun And Games
A popular Staffordshire city will be taking a journey back in time to the days of Victorian England when it celebrates May Day in style. Beacon Park in the historic city of Lichfield will be hosting a special Victorian May Day on Monday 1 May. The event, which also coincides with the lesser-known but equally celebrated Staffordshire Day, will be taking place within Beacon Park's delightful Museum Gardens.

Victorian May Day
Maypole dancing at Victorian May Day. Credit Ken Webb

Lichfield District Council's parks team will be hosting the Victorian May Day event at the Museum Gardens between 11am and 3pm. Visitors to Beacon Park during the day will find themselves enjoying the sort of activities that the Victorians loved to do more than a century ago. The May Day celebrations will offer visitors the chance to join in maypole dancing, make peg dolls, have their faces painted and also try a range of traditional games, including a coconut shy, hoopla games and croquet. On top of that, a highlight of the day will be a free 30 minute traditional Punch and Judy show which will take place at 12.30pm. To warm up the crowd, the puppeteer will also wander around Museum Gardens ahead of the show to introduce his hand puppets to the audience.

Punch & Judy Show
Frank Welsh's Punch and Judy Show

Councillor Andy Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Parks, said: "Visiting a picturesque park in the heart of the city and taking part in, or simply watching, the traditional activities are the perfect way to celebrate both May Day and Staffordshire Day." It is free to come along to the Victorian May Day event at Beacon Park, although there will be a small charge for some of the activities. Beacon Park is set in more than 70 acres of beautiful gardens and open space on the edge of Lichfield city centre. Visitors to the park are able to enjoy a leisurely walk, play a round of golf, take advantage of the children's play area, enjoy a game of crazy golf, tennis, basketball, or bowls and even take out a boat in the warmer weather.

Robin Owen tries his hand at croquet

Beacon Park is also steeped in history and heritage, with information boards around the site and a number of historical statues and monuments. Refreshments and ice cream are available in the bistro and the cafe next to the children's play area during peak season, while toilets and baby changing facilities are also available. A range of summer activities include mini cars, inflatable fun, pedalos and donkey rides in good weather, while woodland activities include pond dipping and wildlife watching. A range of outdoor activities are also provided on different dates throughout the year.
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Why? Enjoy May Day Fun The Way The Victorians Did
When: 1 May 2017
Phone: 01543 308867
Where: Beacon Park, Swan Road, Lichfield WS13 6QZ
Cost: Free
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