By Julia Fitzgerald

If there ever was an event to attract locals and tourists alike to an area, then the May Bank Holiday Victorian Extravaganza certainly fits the bill.

The annual event arrived in Llandudno for the four-day weekend at the start of May, and luckily the weather held out, despite it being rather windy.

So as we were there, my boyfriend and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Jason is from the area, so as I was the tourist for the weekend and have always like Victorian things, I picked this as our Saturday entertainment.

The town’s high street was closed off and traffic was stop-start and parking tickets were being issued left right and centre. Once we had clambered over the barriers and onto the main road, we were met by a flood of people, hundreds of excitable children with sticky faces and candyfloss running through people’s legs and being chased by flustered parents. Walkways were blocked by pushchairs and mobility scooters and laughter and screams filled the air.

The whole street was bursting with fairground rides, from carousels to a ghost train. Shops opened their doors and erected stalls outside, selling everything from raffles to burgers and baked goods to their hungry customers.

Aside from a few people in Victorian attire and a few steam vehicles, the town centre was very much a standard modern day funfair with all the usual attractions you would expect to find.

Due to the lack of children in our party, the rides weren’t really our cup of tea, even if the environment was buzzing. So battling the wind and impending overcast, Jason and I drove to the site of the transport side of the event. We passed the vintage shuttle bus and made the journey along the promenade to the next obstacle we would face, trying to park. Each side of the road was completely solid with cars and caravans and curb crawling drivers trying to snatch a space.

We were one of those drivers, and managed to get a great spot too. But the good mood didn’t last when we were charged £6 each to enter the site.

Rows upon rows of vintage vehicles were parked up across the fields, from cars to buses, lorries to motorbikes, there were hundreds from across the decades. The atmosphere was calmer, but the wind had picked up, with many people struggling to keep their hoods up or take photos without having their hair stuck to their faces. The cars, without a doubt were the best part and were what I spent my time taking photos of. From classic Fords to 1950s styles, there was something for everyone to get excited about.

Between all the vehicles were rows of stalls. I had imagined picking up an interesting piece of history, but that’s not really what was on offer. The stalls had what can only be described as valuable junk (to some maybe), with boxes upon boxes of nuts, bolts, car indicator lights, bulbs, tyres and more. It was as if 30 or so people had emptied their garages into a car boot style set up. Though I suppose one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.

So hundreds of people, a high street full of rides, windy weather and some fields full of vintage vehicles. Whatever the organisers are doing it seems to be working as people come from all over the country to enjoy the event. So do your research if you’re planning to visit next year. It’s just a shame I didn’t spot too many real Victorian traits. There wasn’t a penny farthing in sight.