|Fred Hails, the founder of
Coast Office Equipment in 1971 and Anne Rogers the founder of Camelot
Crafts in 1990 were married in 1997. Fred had retired in 1988
and it was decided at this time that Anne too should hang up her
wooden spoons !|
Six months into retirement and boredom was setting in for Anne, so Fred and Anne agreed it was in his best interest to support her desire to create an animated doll Christmas Village for the community. The hunt was on to acquire as many character dolls as possible. The search covered several hundred miles and ultimately became a collection of over 250. Construction began in August in two empty downtown shops demanding many hundreds of hours to finally open in November with twelve different vignettes of all things Christmas. From the conception it had been the pledge of both Fred and Anne there would be no charge to the village and is true to the present day.
Each year some dolls and animals are allowed to rest whilst the chosen ones are displayed in a variety of different scenes to thrill Christmas lovers of all ages. The Village has always had a wishing well and all donations received have helped to purchase over 80 wheelchairs through the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation. Fred has been an active Rotarian for 45 years and his particular charity is very dear to the hearts of both he and Anne. In September 2000 Dickens Sweets was born. Originally intended as a two day a week "hobby" with 300 square feet of space. The space that was once the home of Coast Office Equipment was transformed into a British Emporium of 10,000 square feet ! What began as a dream soon became a true destination experience in Chilliwack.
Today Dickens Sweets and British Museum is a "must see" for thousands of visitors who are proud to share what has become their second "home" with all of their family and friends. The museum collection is second to none as a path to recapture the once forgotten gems of everyday life in the United Kingdom. From the early 19th century tragedy of the Titanic, through both World Wars to the domesticity of the 1960's A visitor is surrounded by memories of stories told by Grandparents and the "what is that?" questions from the Grandchildren. Echoes of "I had one of those" are continually heard throughout the museum.
As with the Christmas Village, admission to the Museum is free. Both are seen as a gift to the community by Fred and Anne and their family. The opportunity to share their life and good fortune is reward enough and the chance to extend these blessings with the gift of wheelchairs to less fortunate adults and children in third world countries brings unity to the Hails, the Jessops, the Rogers and everyone who becomes a member of the Dickens "family".
|Dickens Sweets & Museum is located
45945 Alexander Avenue, Chilliwack, B.C.
Our store hours are 9.00 am - 5.00 pm Monday to Saturday closed Sunday and statutory holidays . Pickwick Bakery and Oliver's Tearoom are open 10.00 am - 4.30 pm. For more information on the sweetshop please call: 604.793.1981. To order from the bakery or make reservations for Oliver's tearoom please call: 604 703.1981.
(c) Dickens Sweets 2015 - Website by CSR.