It’s Wantage Neverland as shops host Peter Pan prize draw trail

There’ll be a little of Neverland about Wantage town centre for the end of May school half term holidays, as local shops host a special Peter Pan trail.

It’s a joint venture by Wantage town team and The Beacon to celebrate its showing of a recorded performance, captured live at the National Theatre, of JM Barrie’s much-loved tale.

Described as “a riot of magic, mischief, music and make-believe” and “a delight for children and adults alike”, the big screen version of Peter Pan is in cinemas on June 10th.

14 Wantage town centre independent shops have volunteered to be stopping off points on the Peter Pan prize draw children’s trail. Children who’d like to take part can pick up a trail map from either The Beacon, Vale & Downland Museum or participating shops, or print a copy that’s been posted online on the Beacon’s website. Copies of the trail map will be available from Monday 22nd May onwards. To be entered in the prize draw, children need to collect the special pirate stickers from at least 10 of the 14 shops taking part. The 1st prize is a family ticket to the June 10th screening at The Beacon, with runners up prizes of Beacon Kids Cinema Tickets and free popcorn vouchers. All participants who complete the trail will receive a pirate-themed treat to take away at the end!

The trail runs from Saturday 27th May to Monday 5th June. Completed trail maps need to be dropped off at The Beacon or The Museum by 4pm on Monday 5th June to be included in the draw (please note that The Beacon and Museum are both closed on Sundays). The following shops are taking part: King’s Walk (off Grove St) – The King’s Centre, Finishing Touch; Grove St – Funky Teapot; Mill St – Madhatter Bookshop, Lenny’s Lizards; Market Place – Dolphin Art, The Racket Factory; Newbury St – Regent Books, Caroline’s Angels, Ridgeway Cycles; Wallingford St – Blanshards, Wantage Family Butchers; Arbery Arcade – Toy Planet, Sweetpeas.

The Beacon’s Team Leader, Sam Brassington, pictured right, says: “We’re delighted to have an encore screening of Peter Pan from the National Theatre this summer – it was a critical success for its visual storytelling and invention on stage. It’s fantastic to collaborate with so many independent businesses in Wantage to get into the spirit of Neverland, the power of the imagination and the boy who never grew up! Arrr!”

Steve Mills, pictured left, owner of Lenny’s Lizards on Mill Street, one of the Wantage town centre businesses taking part, says: “Albert is not quite a parrot on my shoulder but he’ll still be glad to see young visitors on the trail around town! We’re very happy to be joining up with other town centre retailers and The Beacon for some half term fun.”

Wantage town team led by Market Town Co-ordinator, Mim Norvell, is part of a town vitality initiative funded by the Vale of White Horse District Council, and supported by Wantage Town Council, Grove Parish Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce through the Wantage Joint Economic Forum (JEF). For more details see

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