New York has it’s Rockefeller Tree, Oxford Street has it’s lights, and Newcastle has Fenwick’s window! As a child it was one of my favourite traditions to go up to town with my family, get the front seat on the metro, get a bag of Percy Pigs from M&S and queue to see the Christmas windows on Northumberland Street. This year the theme is Beatrix Potter, in honour of the 150th Anniversary.
As I got older, and the windows got quite obscure (aliens anyone??) I have to say I lost interest. The thought of queuing on a Saturday afternoon among all the kids as an adult just didn’t have the same appeal as it used to.
I have heard that the past couple of years have been better, but I’d walk past and catch glimpses over the crowds rather than queue up and see them all in order. Last night though, I tuned in to the Chronicle’s live broadcast of the unveiling.
Another throwback to my childhood, I loved the books written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. I had the box set, and we often visit the National Trust Beatrix Potter shop in Ambleside on family holidays. I don’t think the shop is there anymore, but The World of Beatrix Potter World is located near to Windermere, and you can still buy the full Beatrix Potter: The Complete Collection of Original Tales box set off Amazon.
Anyways, the unveiling looked great last night, complete with snow and festive cheer. This morning we were going Christmas shopping early, but I totally forgot about Fenwick’s Windows until we were walking out of ground floor Fenwick’s near the card section and heard the music.
It totally reminded me of being a child and the excitement of going with my grandma and cousins to see them. At about ten past nine this morning there must have only been about three families there, so it was a perfect viewing opportunity for someone like me (30, intolerant to children, and on a shopping mission).
I LOVED the windows. Each window displayed a different classic story of Beatrix Potter as open books, with the famous characters moving and dancing to Christmas music. Perfect for the young kids of today, but also for those of us who enjoy a childhood flashback every now and then.
You’ll find Peter Rabbit munching on a carrot in front of Mr McGregor, Mrs Tiggywinkle doing her ironing, and the Two Bad Mice (my personal favourite) all brought to life – larger than life actually – in Newcastle’s greatest Christmas asset – Fenwick’s windows.
For those that can’t visit this year, or can’t make it at a quiet time to really enjoy it, I hope you enjoy my photos!