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Fenwick’s window through the ages

As The Chronicles of Narnia have been revealed as the Fenwick Christmas window Newcastle 2023, we look back through the years at the displays of Christmases past…

Written by Becky Hardy
Published 08.11.2023

How many of Fenwick’s Christmas windows do you remember?

On Sunday, we enjoyed another iconic Fenwick Christmas window reveal – where scenes from C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe jumping out at the crowds gathered from every turn with suitably festive aplomb.

A celebration of family, community and the joy of reading – a theme shared with London’s magnificent Christmas tree at St Pancras Station, which is made from nearly 4,000 books – the 2023 Fenwick’s window display was unveiled in front of children and families from Fenwick’s partner schools, hospitals and charities, as well as competition winners on Sunday evening.

But being the latest in a long, long line of seasonal sensations from the department store is no easy feat. We look back at the good, the not-so-good and the downright bizarre from the Fenwick Christmas window Newcastle tradition.

What do you think – does the 2023 Fenwick’s window measure up?

THE FIRST

Camberwick Green, 1971

Fenwick first took the brave step to devote an entire shop window to festive animation in 1971, when they began their collaboration with the German-based One World Studio to recreate the popular children’s TV series Camberwick Green. With stop-motion puppets Captain Snort, Private Featherby and fan favourite Windy Miller began a festive tradition that would continue for more than half a century.

THE ‘WHAT ON EARTH?!

Christmas in Another World, 2002

Everyone remembers Fenwick’s 2002 window, although not always for the best reasons. Don’t get us wrong, the famous (or is it ‘infamous’ now?) Aliens were well produced, but definitely divided opinions having followed the slightly more traditional A Christmas Carol and Santa’s Journey. Whether you loved or hated them though, you’re unlikely to forget them.

THE BEST

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2019

This was a tough one, and the 1994 Christmas Village will take some beating in our opinion, but 2019’s puppet portrayal of Willy Wonka, Charlie and Grandpa Joe was expertly created in the style of Roald Dahl’s original (and instantly recognisable) illustrator, Quentin Blake. Genius.

THE REST

We couldn’t sign off before giving special mention to our top three runners-up.

Our Bronze medal goes to Fenwick’s 2014 depiction of Alice in Wonderland, for all its vibrancy, character and mad-cap magic. Second place is Gulliver’s Travels (2006), for reminding us that the little things can be the most powerful. And we go all the way to 1986 for our pick for the Gold, to Fenwick’s magnificent Christmas Circus which brought all of the world’s exoticism to Northumberland Street.

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