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Celebrate Queen Victoria's 81st birthday at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Whitsun weekend 24th - 26th May 2014 (15th April 2014)

Join the residents of Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge over the Whitsun bank holiday weekend of 24th - 26th May as they celebrate the 81st birthday of their much loved Queen Victoria with great pomp and pageantry.

The town will be decorated in patriotic style and each day will be a fitting tribute to the gracious lady and her long reign with an extravaganza of colour, music and street entertainment.

Watch live re-enactments of scenes from popular plays by the Prince Albert Players and listen to sessions by the bagpipe players and drummers from the Seaforth Highlanders band in full Scottish costume.

Go along to the New Inn and join in a lively sing-a-long with the pub’s music hall entertainers or talk to ‘Victorian soldiers’ and descendants of those who fought in the Anglo-Zulu war Battle of Rorke's Drift from the Ibutho Living History Group, who will also speak about military life in the late 1800s.

Younger visitors can watch a traditional Punch and Judy show by professional puppeteer Richard Coombs or search for lost toys hidden around the town, with a lolly reward for those who complete the trail. There will also be hands-on activities in the Goods Shed where children can play games and try creative skills from a bygone era such as candle dipping.

As festivities take place, the Victorian townsfolk will still be going about their daily lives in the authentic houses and shops, baking bread, counting coins at the Bank and talking about Victorian remedies in the Chemist. Craftsmen will also be at work in the artisans’ corner. There is also a choice of places to eat at Blists Hill Victorian Town including the New Inn, entrance café and Fried Fish Dealers, where portions of traditionally prepared fish and chips are on offer. The smell of freshly baked bread at the Bakers is also sure to tempt.

Open 10am - 5pm on Saturday 24 May and 10am - 6pm on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 May, Blists Hill is one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. A great value Annual Passport Ticket allowing entry into all ten museums, valid for twelve months and unlimited return visits, costs £27.50 per adult, £21 for the 60 plus, £16.50 for students and children and £68 for a family of two adults and all their children aged up to 18 years in full time education (terms and conditions apply); under 5s free.

Activities and workshops vary day-to-day and some carry an extra charge in addition to the museum admission fee. Individual museum entry tickets are also available.

For further information, contact the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit The Gorge is easily reached via the M6 and M54 motorways exiting at Telford (M54 junction 4 or 6).