The Victorian Evening in Ingatestone, in its sixth successful year, is based on an original idea by two local residents. The Parish Council are keen to promote the local businesses within the Parish and believe that the Victorian Evening brings the community and local businesses together whilst supporting local charities which this year are the Essex Air Ambulance and the RSPCA. 

The local pubs and restaurants featured food and celebrations.

People were able to sample the delights of bygone days with most of the local businesses and shops, many of their staff dressed in costumes of the era, opening their doors to the public. There were a variety of stalls and entertainers.

Also taking part was the Community Club with various attractions including Santa’s Grotto and general entertainment whilst the library served hot chocolate and mince pies and gave a talk on Thomas Brand Hollis, an English Radical Republican, with additional entertainment for all ages.

The evening commenced, as in previous years, with a horse drawn carriage parade to the church from the Crown Pub for the official opening, however this year there was a special carriage designed to seat travellers on the open fronted top as well as in the carriage. A great time was had by all those lucky enough to experience the ride.

Sponsorship is raised by Denise Morris, Manager of Beresfords Estate Agents, who is also the Deputy Chair of the Victorian Night Sub-Committee, with contributions coming from many of the local businesses and outside companies. Paul Beresford, who lives locally, is always keen to support such local events and he is happy to provide all promotional material along with administrative help, where needed, to the Parish Council. He knows how proud his team at Ingatestone are at being part of the event and equally, how much effort they put into it. Beresfords also ran a painting competition for children with various prizes to be won together with a children’s lucky dip.

The Parish Council Sub Committee, Chaired by Cllr. Linda Boyce who is also Chair of the Parish Council, together with Elizabeth Durrant, Clerk to the Parish Council, spent the last 6 months organising the event for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors. Our local MP, Eric Pickles, who is now the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government along with the Mayor of Brentwood, Joan Holmes, supported the evening with their attendance.

Reverend Patrick Sherring, of St Edmond and St Mary Ingatestone Church, and hosted bell ringers, the Choral Society, who provided everyone with carols during the evening, and the WI who did the refreshments. There was also a beautiful Nativity Scene with a real donkey outside the church where children could have their photograph taken. Other Local Churches in the town also hosted various events.

It is estimated that there was a record turnout on the night of between 3,000 and 4,000 people this year due to a combination of the efforts that had gone into the evening by all concerned and the ideal weather conditions that prevailed.

There was also a best dressed window display competition for all shops in the High Street judged by local volunteers and the winner this year was Abigail’s Lifestyle run by Abigail herself. Well done!


‘A big thank you to Max Carter of the Ingatestone Camera Club for the photographs.’