Public urged to join Market Hall Milestone Celebrations

A number of city organisations have joined forces to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of Derby Market Hall, with a day of Victorian-themed celebrations planned for Saturday 17th September.

The event has been produced by Furthest From The Sea and has been arranged by the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID), Derby LIVE and the Market Hall Traders. Organisations who have so far come forward to offer their support include Artsbeat, Derby Museums and Foulds. The event aims to recreate the Victorian splendour surrounding the official opening of Derby Market Hall one hundred and fifty years ago and will include a Music Hall variety show and a procession through the city.

The day will start at 9am with visitors joining a free creative workshop on Osnabruck Square at the front of the Market Hall to make Victorian hats and flags. This will be followed by a performance by the Ambassadors Show Band before members of the public will be invited to join performers and singers dressed in Victorian costume for a street procession beginning at 11am. On returning to the Market Hall visitors will be treated to an afternoon of celebrations including vintage vocalist Veronica Jones, ‘Man of Mystery’ Lord Illusion, performances from Derwent Harps, stiltwalkers, fairground strongmen and contortionists as well as Victorian wresting in a full size ring situated on the Market Place.

The whole event will be compered by Derby’s very own ‘Dapper’ Dan Webber whilst Market Hall traders will be dressed in traditional outfits from the era alongside actors in character who will entertain and pose for photographs with visitors.

Linda Aston is a member of the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District management group and chair of the Derby Market Hall Traders Association.  She is the third generation of her family to run a business there. Linda said: “We are very excited about marking this important milestone for the Market Hall. “Back in 1866, the opening of the Market Hall drew in huge crowds who marveled at the fact that this was the UK’s first purpose-built undercover market. “Derby turned out in its finery for the preview and the official opening which was attended by several city and county dignitaries and there were widespread celebrations to mark the special event.  “We therefore wanted to recreate some of that excitement with a wide range of traditional Victorian activities and entertainment and I think this will be a very special day for market traders and visitors alike. “We would love members of the public to come along to the event, get involved in the procession and bring along memorabilia that they may have at home linked to the Market Hall over the years.”

Councillor Martin Rawson, Cabinet Member responsible for city centre regeneration, said: “The Market Hall has been an integral part of derby for 150 years, our city centre master plan has a great vision to ensure the Market Hall continues at the centre of the life of the city for years to come.”

Further information regarding the event can be found via the Derby Live website   whilst any groups or organisations who wish to be involved in the procession are encouraged to contact .

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