Oui bit ooh-la-la!

IT seems the annual Victorian Fair gets better with age — and this year's event was another great vintage.

Some 3000 people descended on New Lanark to witness villagers dressing up in Victorian costumes.

Stalls were complemented with great entertainment from a number of groups who contributed to a fantastic afternoon as villagers, enthusiasts and tourists looked on.

Lanark Pipe Band kicked off the entertainment - heralding the start of the fayre with a tour round the village.

Other performances included spectacular displays from the Claire Brown Cheer and Dance Squad, the Britannia Panopticon Performers, complete with Victorian costumes, and the West Lothian Independent Scottish Dancers.

New Lanark Primary School choir completed the musical line-up while Can Can Dancers added even more colour to Sunday's event.

The bird of prey displays had the crowd gasping as eagles and

vultures glided over the village.

Even a couple of showers didn't dampen visitors' enthusiasm for the event, which has been going for well over a quarter of a century.

And development officer Graeme Mcivor was delighted with its success.

He said: "A lot of preparation goes into the event. Villagers put a lot of time and effort into it.

"One of the most pleasing aspects was that the weather was good for the most part.

"The can-can dancers put on a fabulous show while the pipe band were also, as always, very well received.

"One of the biggest attractions though were the birds of prey. A lot of people said it was the highlight.

"It was a real family occasion too with kids enjoying a bouncy castle and mini zoo."

More than six months preparation goes into the event so it won't be long before planning for the 2009 fair gets underway.

New Lanark became world renowned during the Victorian era and Graeme believes that aspect has helped the fair in recent years.

He said: "It's quite an unusual event and because of that the

villagers do a lot of work for it.

"Some of the Victorian costumes they have are fantastic.

"I think one of the main reasons people come to the fair is because the Victorian era covers such an important part of history here at New Lanark.

"The fair does take you back from 1800 right up to the end of the Victorian era.

"We get people coming down year after year — especially those with young families — and that's one of the most pleasing aspects."

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