Bacup Christmas Fair

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Every Christmas the very shy Bacup Museum throws open its dusty doors to the general public. In itself a remarkable event as the tiny museum is very rarely open! This year the theme was "A First World War Christmas" We decided to pay it another visit as, apart from the museum, Bacup was also hosting a Christmas Fair and promised exceedingly amazing attractions like our local folk dancers the world famous "Coconutters" a choir, street musicians, a famous singer (Sean Ruane) plus the sweet little market with its many stalls offering all kinds of stuff. But first the museum which is situated in a terraced house a stones throw from the town center. We were warmly greeted by a lady in a long velvet dress and a huge feathered bonnet who offered us a home made mince pie. She escorted us to the front room were other ladies similar attired were grouped around a 1914 era Christmas tree decorated with candles and home made baubles and invited us to listen in on a talk given by one of the ladies on 'How Christmas was celebrated during the First World War'. Interesting stuff and all the decorations on the tree hand made. They gave us hand made chocolate sweets before we wandered off to explore the rest of the house, chatted to a dapper looking guy in grey top hat and tails before entering a room devoted to a World War I hospital displaying primitive surgical instruments, blood soaked bandages in a bowl and a shop model dressed like Miss Florence Nightingale. Back out in the street we listened to the town cryer in all his finery then wandered off to watch the Coconutters dancing in the sunny town square accompanied by a large man playing a tiny accordion. Later we listened to the street musicians, tin whistles and other assorted instruments and snacked on Bar-B-Que porcus pork sausages in a bun. Our bus turned up then so we missed hearing the famous tenor but no doubt he must have proved very popular.

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