Fenwick’s Newcastle store has today unwrapped its famous Christmas windows to a queue of hundreds of shoppers.
This year’s theme is The Fairy Tale Forest, continuing a tradition of animated displays which started with children’s TV series Camberwick Green in 1971.
Fenwick’s original department store in Newcastle was founded in 1882 by JJ Fenwick and its Christmas windows are an institution in the North East, providing a major attraction for families, children and visitors.
They are the largest Christmas windows outside London, and represent an investment of close to £200,000.
This year’s animated windows are inspired by the key elements of classic fairy tales, all displayed in 3D to bring each window’s narration to life. They begin with the Sugar Plum Fairy who is surrounded by books and appears to be reading the various tales of the forest.
The windows then go on to show other traditional characters who live inside the forest, including Hansel and Gretel, Jack Frost, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Old Toymaker provides the final window scene, busy making gifts for all the forest folk and children just in time for Christmas Day.
Fenwick Group chairman, Mark Fenwick said: “It’s a wonderful time when our Christmas windows are unveiled nationwide - that’s when our customers know the festive season has arrived and anticipation really starts to grow.
“In Newcastle, our Fairy Tale Forest windows are a festive spectacle that really capture Christmas cheer.
“Fenwick is well-loved across the North East and it’s a joy our windows will charm so many generations of shoppers.”
When the Christmas windows were unveiled last year Newcastle NE1 Business Improvement District Company - responsible for promoting Newcastle’s service economy - confirmed footfall was 16 per cent higher than the same day the previous week.
PREVIOUS FENWICK NEWCASTLE CHRISTMAS WINDOW THEMES:
1971 - Camberwick Green – based on a popular children’s tv series
1972 - Chigley
1973 - Rupert Meets Santa
1974 - Sooty’s Circus
1975 - Aladdin
1976 - Fairytale Christmas with Cinderella
1977 - Treasure Island
1978 - Storybook Christmas
1979 - Wonderful world of Pantomime
1980 - A Christmas Carol
1981 - Alice in Wonderland
1982 - Arabian Nights
1983 - Fly to Fenwick’s for Christmas (based on a space theme)
1984 - Gulliver – featuring a massive Gulliver, whose body filled the whole shop frontage!
1985 - Fairytale Christmas with Pinocchio
1986 - Christmas Circus
1987 - Magical Winter Wonderland (creatures skating & skiing)
1988 - Purrfect for Christmas (all the figures were cats & dogs)
1989 - Jungle Fantasy
1990 - Good Old Santa (Santa & elves preparing for Christmas)
1991 - It’s A White Christmas (Jack Frost, a Snowman, talking Tree & Santa)
1992 - Santa’s Christmas Party (with panto & nursery rhyme characters)
1993 - Alice in Wonderland (Second time around – first in 1981)
1994 - Christmas Village
1995 - Santa’s New Store
1996 - Fairytale Christmas with Snow White/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty)
1997 - Santa’s Christmas Pantomime
1998 - A Christmas Carol (second outing for this Dickens story)
1999 - Peter Pan
2000 - Christmas in Poodletown
2001 - Santa’s Journey (Santa + helper Englebert the Polar Bear)
2002 - Christmas in Another World (Christmas from an Alien’s perspective)
2003 - Santa’s Workshop
2004 - The Christmas Story (Nativity)
2005 - The Snowman (famous Raymond Briggs story)
2006 - Gulliver (a return journey for Gulliver)
2007 - Winter Wonderland
2008 - Oliver Twist (with soundtrack featuring all songs from the musical)
2009 - The Christmas Story (nativity)
2010 - The Night Before Christmas (Toymaker Express!)
2011 - 40 YEARS OF THE FENWICK CHRISTMAS WINDOW (the 41st window installation, in the 40th anniversary year)
2012 - The Reindeer Express
FENWICK NEWCASTLE CHRISTMAS GIFT TOP TEN FOR 2013:
1. Diane Von Furstenberg Envelope Clutch Bag £150
2. Chapel Down English Reserve Brut £19.99
3. Stella McCartney Frosted Nude Camisole £125
4. Tom Ford Ice Queen Eye Palette £62
5. Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin Deluxe Candle 600g £115
6. Alnwick Rum Pudding 450g £9.95
7. Mango bike (UK exclusive launch in Fenwick Newcastle) from £295
8. Mulberry coin wallet £195
9. iPhone controlled flying AR Drone with camera £279.99
10. Water activated Robot Fish £16.99