THERE’S a fright at a museum where bosses are being accused of cancelling Christmas.
The annual Christmas market at Bowes Museum is now known as a Winter Market.
But critics hit out at the move by the museum — founded by ancestors of the late Queen Mother.
BBC antiques expert David Harper, who lives nearby in Barnard Castle, Co Durham, said the decision was “bonkers beyond comprehension”.
Mr Harper, 56, who has appeared on Bargain Hunt, Antiques Road Trip and Cash in the Attic, is calling for a U-turn.
He told The Sun: “They are deleting Christmas from a Christmas market in the hope it will attract more people.
“What’s next? Are we going to cancel Santa, the reindeer, children wearing Christmas hats?
“Essentially, all you’ll be left with is a Wednesday market.
"This won’t stop until we stop it.
"We need to nip this in the bud, take control and be a bit braver.
"They are taking the joy out of Christmas.
“Oliver Cromwell tried to do that in the 1640s by rejecting Christmas.
"This is as close as we have been in the last 350 years to that Cromwellian idea.”
The museum was set up in 1892 by John and Josephine Bowes, ancestors of the Queen Mum.
She was its patron from 1962 until her death in 2002.
Mr Harper added: “I can only imagine what the Queen Mother would have thought about this.
“The founders were passionate about the area, art and culture.
"They are buried about 100ft from the museum and are spinning in their graves.
“It’s bonkers beyond comprehension."
Director Hannah Fox said: “The Bowes Museum has not cancelled Christmas.
"We have a very popular seasonal programme of events of which the market is the centrepiece.
“It’s fabulous and everyone is welcome, however they celebrate over the festive season.”