Street urchins, chimney sweeps and all manner of Victorian folk took to the streets of Shropshire’s leading tourist attraction as it turned back the clock with a special Dress Like a Victorian day.

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust asked visitors to its world-famous Blists Hill Victorian Town to dress in Victorian-themed costume for the special event on Saturday (Aug 8).

The trust – a registered education and heritage conservation charity which cares for 36 listed buildings in the Gorge – says it was delighted with the response to the event.

Justin Tose, Visitor Engagement Director from the Trust, said staff had handed out prizes for the best costumes and there had been a number of special events staged as part of the day.

“We thought that we would give people the chance to do something a bit different after all the hardships of lockdown and were delighted with the response. People from right across the region got into the Victorian spirit and put on their finery to join in the fun.

“It’s lovely to see people enjoying both the site and being able to get out and do something a bit different after all the restrictions of the last few months and I think all our guests enjoyed the chance to dress up and let their hair down a little.

“Even though it was such a warm day – and visitors must have been sweltering in all their costumes – everybody who took part said they had enjoyed it immensely and couldn’t wait to do it again.”

Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and The Iron Bridge Tollhouse have reopened after being closed for more than 100 days because of lockdown whilst the Museum of The Gorge is also open again as a free entry Visitor Centre.

The museums have won widespread praise from visitors for the strict social distancing measures which have been put in place along with an enhanced cleaning and hygiene regime and timed entries to limit numbers on site at any one time.

They have been awarded the official We’re Good To Go standard by Visit England tourism bosses for meeting all the necessary Covid-19 regulations.

For tickets and more information on future events during the holiday period visit

Scruffiest street urchin runner-up was Iris Brown from Evesham.


The Glegg family from Newtown all entered into the spirit of the day and won the scruffiest street urchin prize.

Most dapper gent was Rob Thrush from Shrewsbury, who is also a member of the Oxford & Bucks Living History Society.