The past will come alive once again in Laxey this weekend, as the Manx Electric Railway’s popular Victorian Extravaganza takes over the village.
Tying in with the Laxey Fair on Saturday, period entertainment will centre around the railway station and carry on into Sunday.
Expect a host of eccentric characters from the Victorian age, who will assist with the public’s investigations into murky-goings on as part of a mystery tour.
Arrive at Derby Castle station in Douglas in time for the 9.40am tram to Laxey, and meet Arthur Conan-Doyle – author of the Sherlock Holmes crime fiction books – who will set the scene for the investigations.
During the coastal tram ride there will be clues given to passengers to consider on the journey.
At Laxey Station, familiar characters from Doyle’s literary world will be found, such as Inspector G. Lestrade, Mycroft Holmes and criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty, though their role in this particular story will not yet be clear.
Carrying on the mountain railway to Snaefell, visitors meet a certain Mr Holmes and his good friend Dr Watson, on holiday and ostensibly studying the local wildlife.
There may, or may not, have been a serious crime on the island to tie in to the story.
Then, back at Laxey, just before the afternoon trams back to Douglas, Mr Conan Doyle completes the experience with his plot, and characters, for his new book ‘The Curious Case of the Five Guinnea Note’. All the clues will be explained for those who missed them,
Last year’s Victorian event proved a hit with the masses, as the Travelling Museum of Curiosities and Wonderment rolled into town, as well as displays of photographic techniques on antiquated equipment, and a fashion show, storytelling, children’s toys and a visit from a Victorian railway surveyor.
Balloon modelling and traditional Punch and Judy shows helped set the scene, as did exhibitions of Victorian agricultural equipment and farming machinery and a vintage transport display, while the Great Laxey Victorian Mine Railway was also in full swing.
On Saturday is also the opening of Laxey Fair, which kicks off with a procession at 1.30pm from the Rose Gardens.
The fair has held an important place in the village calendar since 1971, and this year family fun and entertainment will include music and dancing competitions, stalls, vendors, catering outlets and rides for children. Entertainment comes from children from Laxey School, Manx folk dancers, the Onchan Silver Band, children’s entertainers, and a tug o’ war.
To encourage people into the Victorian spirit of the weekend, Isle of Man Transport have announced there will be half price travel for those in Victorian attire on the Manx Electric Railway.
For more information, and timetables for trams to and from Douglas and Ramsey, see http://www.gov.im/publictransport