Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for March, 2022

Dickens Victorian Village Bus Tours

Buses have coned places for parking in front of the Welcome Center.

Step back in time at Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio during the months of November and December. The friendly small-town atmosphere will have you feeling like you’ve arrived in jolly old London during the late 1800s. Bus groups get special treatment during their visits and we usually have nearly fifty groups a year during that season.

While this article is basically for the tour groups, you will find many things here that make it a great place for a family weekend adventure.

As soon as a tour group arrives in Cambridge,  you will get that Victorian feeling. A costumed guide will step on your bus at the edge of town and stay with you throughout the day as they tell how Dickens Victorian Village began sixteen years ago.

Our mayor welcomes you to Cambridge along with Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.

Tour venues are very flexible as each group has particular interests. Most groups begin the day with a slow bus tour of six blocks of downtown Cambridge. During November and December, there is a Victorian scene under every lamppost in those six blocks. In 2021, there were 168 life-size mannequins in 96 different scenes.

A touch of snow adds to the holiday cheer on one of the Victorian scenes.

The scenes are based on Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” and also scenes from London during Dickens’ time. Each scene has a brass plaque attached, which explains its connection to that time in history.

Everyone enjoys a tasty treat from Kennedy’s Bakery.

Along the way, almost every bus group stops at Kennedy’s Bakery, a hometown favorite that has been in business since 1925. Three generations of the Kennedy family have created the same tasty pastries year after year. Bus groups stop back again and again.

Mosser Glass still produces glass at their factory with a beautiful Gift Shop included.

If you arrive in the morning, Mosser Glass provides an interesting stop as they are still making glass on site. Watch them create some beautiful glass pieces. Cher purchases turkey candy dishes here each year for her guests at Thanksgiving dinner. They have even provided beautiful glass Easter eggs to the White House. Their showroom is outstanding.

Volunteers at the Welcome Center are dressed in Victorian garb to welcome guests.

Down the street, the bus will have a coned off place to park near our Dickens Welcome Center. Here Father Christmas will greet the bus. Volunteers at the Welcome Center will talk about how the figures are made and encourage you to dress in Victorian clothes at Imagination Station. Have your picture taken for a fond memory with a beautiful Christmas tree or the figure of Charles Dickens himself.

Several unique shops help make this stop a pleasure for those who enjoy shopping.  Find a unique gift for yourself or a friend from several shops which include locally made articles.

Francis Family Restaurant has a large banquet room for buffets.
Mr. Lee’s Family Restaurant provides great meals and service
Theo’s Restaurant has delicious buffets and serve their homemade pies.

Of course, lunch is always an important stop of the day. Three local restaurants have delicious buffets that are only prepared for bus tours. Take your choice of Francis Family Restaurant, Lee’s, or Theo’s for a buffet that will leave you satisfied.

The Queen’s Tea takes place at the beautiful Cambridge Country Club.

Some wish to have an upscale lunch or dinner and choose to have dinner with Queen Victoria at the Cambridge Country Club where she tells about her life growing up in London from childhood to adult.

Victorian ladies greet you at the Cambridge Glass Museum.

Several museums give a great place to spend a couple of hours. Cambridge Glass Museum greets you with ladies dressed in Victorian costumes and tells you of Christmas at the Glasshouse. They will give you many hands-on activities to keep your group smiling.

Coal Miner Dave tells the story of those early coal mines in the area.

Another possibility is the Guernsey County Museum where you can meet Coal Miner Dave, who tells of those early years in the county.  At the same place, you will discover a one-room classroom and a teacher who will give you a lesson and perhaps even a test. Those are highlights of a museum packed with historic pieces.

Ladies enjoy wearing hats and shawls as they enjoy tea and sweets.

You might prefer having afternoon tea at one of our local churches. They will provide a short program of music and information before serving tea, scones, and cookies.

Finish off the evening with the Courthouse Holiday Light Show.

We always end the day with the Holiday Courthouse Light Show, which has over 65,000 lights synchronized to holiday music. An entire hour is different! The show starts every evening from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31 from 5:30 – 9:00. You can even watch it from the coach.

These are just a few ideas you might include in your trip to Dickens Victorian Village. If you would like to learn more please contact me at DickensGroupTours@gmail.com for additional places to visit.

Rob Hill’s RedHill Glass Creations

Rob demonstrated glass blowing at ARTSNCT’s artist reception.

Making beautiful glass pieces takes special skill, patience, and artistic ability. Rob Hill has developed these traits and today makes a variety of glass items, which can be found at several festivals and online at RedHill Glass Creations.

Putting a flower inside a marble makes for extra special beauty.

Rob grew up in Newcomerstown and graduated from NHS. His mother was an antique dealer and loved beautiful glassware. From the age of five, Rob went along with her on her hunts and developed a love of glass treasures. The young boy was especially fascinated with glass marbles.

Flintknapping and hunting for arrowheads was something Rob also enjoyed. In his travels, he met a man from Texas who wanted to trade Texas flint for Ohio flint. When Rob received the shipment from Texas not only were there flint arrowheads but also glass ones.

Turtles have always been one of his favorites to design.

Upon asking about the glass arrowheads, he discovered they had been made by a method of glass blowing called “Lampworking”, which was something he decided to explore.

In 2012, Rob decided to make some of his own glass creations as a hobby. He bought some glass-making equipment and began watching YouTubes about “Lampworking”. He became self-taught by watching others demonstrate their skill at blowing glass either through videos or watching in person at area glass companies.

Beautiful pendants are popular in many shapes and colors.

It took Rob a while to learn the art of glassblowing but as he became more confident, he began sharing his creations on Facebook and Instagram. They were a hit! Next step was to upgrade his equipment to keep up with the demand for his products.

His tools consist of a blow torch, glass rods of various sizes, and molds for shaping.

Rob uses a torch to melt the glass instead of the traditional blast furnace found in factories. He purchases his glass in rods made of silica glass in various lengths, diameters, and colors.

Once it is in a molten state, he then proceeds to shape it by blowing and using various tools he has acquired. He wants his pieces to last a lifetime and even be handed down to the next generation so is very careful to use glass that won’t crack under extreme temperature changes.

Many of his creations are on display in this setting.

His creations include glass pendants, vintage glass décor, jewelry, suncatchers, animals, mushrooms, and the list goes on. He makes just about anything you would like out of glass. At Christmas, he couldn’t keep up with the orders for glass icicles.

Rob makes one of his popular marbles for cremains.

Memorial marbles and pendants have become a popular item for people and pets. This began in 2013 when he wanted to use his dad’s cremains in a memorial marble, which is golf ball size. It takes about 45 minutes to make one marble. Now he ships these glass memorials all over the U.S. and even to Japan, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

Marbles and hearts are the perfect containers for the cremains of that someone special.

Cremation art has become a very popular item. Some put the cremains in a necklace so the loved one can rest close to their heart. Others prefer to display them in a lovely glass piece in their home. Rob pretty much can control how the design turns out, but often a hidden surprise appears.

This notice was used for his annual show at ARTSNCT last year.

You can find his beautiful glass creations at various craft shows. It has also been on display at Flint Ridge, Salt Fork Festival, and there was a special showing in Newcomerstown at ARTSNCT called “The Amazing Works of Rob Hill” where he even gave a live demonstration of glassblowing. Many of the items on display are for purchase.

Since Rob also sells online, you can visit his Facebook or Instagram postings anytime and order a special treasure for yourself.

This beautiful pendant of many colors seems extra attractive.

He also offers lessons if someone would like to learn the trade of glassblowing. If you would like to develop this special art, contact him at robert.hill8141@gmail.com or call him at 330-440-8141.

Right now Rob is busy with a full-time job and has many special orders to fill. In the future, he would like to devote more time to his special interest in marbles. He’s also exploring the area of painting on canvas. His artistic skills are numerous. However, he also wants to take time to enjoy his two children and three grandchildren.

Turtles and icicles have been very popular items.

Perhaps sometime in the future, he will be able to turn his hobby into an even busier business. Watch for RedHill Glass Creations online or at a nearby festival. Glass treasures last a lifetime!

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