Chocolate factory gates open to start book anniversary celebrations

A young fan dressed as an Oompa Loompa

Willy Wonka and Benedict Courtney, who came dressed up for the event, next to the gates

The gates

The envelopes being handed out

Chocolate factory gates open to start book anniversary celebrations

Chocolate factory gates open to start book anniversary celebrations

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CELEBRATIONS of the 50th anniversary of one of Roald Dahl's book started in style with the opening of Willy Wonka's gates.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden started its year long celebration of the 50th anniversary of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory on Saturday.

The story was published in 1964 and follows the adventure of Charlie Bucket as he goes inside the factory of the mysterious chocolatier Willy Wonka.

Staff dressed as Oompa Loompas welcomed about 575 visitors in preparation for the opening of Willy Wonka's gates, which were a scaled down version provided by Warner Brothers Studios.

The company made a film version of the book in 2005 starring Johnny Depp, but as the gates used in the film were too big for the museum, they provided a smaller version.

As well as this the studios provided props from the film and also an animatronic Oompa Loompa.

Isabelle Reynolds, PR & Marketing Coordinator, said: "It was just a really magical day. People really entered into the spirit of it and really believed in our Willy Wonka and Grandpa Joe and Charlie Bucket.

"There was huge excitement."

There was a ceremonial opening of the gates, with actors playing the book characters, who handed out envelopes, which had treasure trails in.

Five contained golden tickets which meant a book and chocolate from the shop for the winners. There was also chocolate decorating workshops, archive tours and storytelling.

The archivist brought out the chocolate box which Roald Dahl would put on the table at family gatherings, which was filled with sweets and everyone was able to take one.

The museum has a whole host of events organised for the year ahead to celebrate the anniversary.

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