Children go through the wardrobe to a world of spellbinding wonder in Narnia
THE magical world of Narnia came to Derby at the weekend to give 150 children – many of them poorly – an unforgettable treat.
Youngsters entered the fantasy forest through a magical wardrobe at Derby Conference Centre, off Ascot Drive, on Saturday.
Inside, characters including Mr Tumnus and the Snow Queen were there to ensure everyone had an enchanting experience.
Youngsters beamed with joy as they walked through a snow storm towards the famous black lamp featured in author CS Lewis's story The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
Children were served tea in Mr Tumnus's tea room and were able to sit back and enjoy watching a short scene from the film in the building's cinema. Battle then commenced after lunch, with knights and dancers putting on a performance to music from the films.
Activities including facepainting, dancing and games also took place.
At the end, they were greeted by Prince Caspian, who travelled to the ball in a horse-drawn carriage.
Aslan the lion and Father Christmas also made appearances.
The event was organised by Maria Hanson and Suzie Litton-Wood, of the Me and Dee charity – which raises cash to give children a treat.
Suzie said: "I don't think Derby's seen anything like this before. I'm very pleased."
Maria said: "We've got children here from as far as London, Essex and Lincoln. About two-thirds of them are more local. Everyone is having fun, which is what we wanted."
Among the youngsters was Jack Johnstone, 17, from Mickleover, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Mum Geraldine said: "It's been brilliant for him. He's not been to anything like this before. It's really well organised and the atmosphere is great."
Another Derby mum, Estelle Burton took her three young children, Isabella, Claudia and Sophia, along. She said: "It's magical."
Mr Tumnus was played by Jonathan Handford, 29. He said: "It's brilliant – the kids absolutely love it. It's great to be putting a smile on their faces."
Among the contributors to the event were Knights and Vikings, YBCM Designs, Artifex Studios and the Dance Floor Company.