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Victorian Fayre draws crowds for opening of Gravesend's Old Town Hall

PUBLISHED: 16:27 15 December 2010 | UPDATED: 16:57 15 December 2010

St Josephs Catholic Comprehensive choir sang carols in the entrance of the old town hall

St Josephs Catholic Comprehensive choir sang carols in the entrance of the old town hall

Archant

The reopening of a town centre monument, and a bustling market took visitors back to the town's Victorian hey day as traders and council workers combined to stage a huge old style Christmas Fayre.

A £2.3 million refurbishment of the Old Town Hall, High Street was formally celebrated as the restored function rooms were filled with market traders selling a huge array of trinkets, crafts and art work for a traditional Victorian Christmas on Saturday.

The event was organised by fashion shop owner Jackie Bryne, who has dedicated herself to promoting the area since opening her store, Billies Boutiques on the High Street in April. She has formed a High Street traders association, The Hummingbirds, to work in tandem for the benefit of the area. She said: “The amount of effort everyone has put in dressing up and making this happen is wonderful.”

The hall, which includes function rooms, offices, a restaurant and cafe, will be managed by Michell Boyd from Kent County Council.

Alongside the stalls, members of Gravesend Library put up archive photographs showing how the town hall once looked, a member of Nigel King’s Raptors, was kitted out in full period costume with barn owl Gizmo. Children from St Joseph’s Preparatory School sang carols in the entrance. The market also offered new opportunities to a group of crafts workers and artists.

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