Santa has been handed a brand new sleigh for this year’s pre-Christmas tour of Lichfield.
Helpers from Lichfield Round Table escort Father Christmas around almost every street in the city, as well as the surrounding villages, to collect donations for good causes throughout December.
But his sleigh has seen better days so members decided to give him a new vehicle to help cover the miles.
Paul Jansz, from Lichfield Round Table, said: “We’ve been running the pre-Christmas tour for 55 years now but the current sleigh was simply worn out.
“The sleigh is put through quite a lot during the month and is used in all weathers, so we wanted to make sure it would stand up to the test.
“We bought a new trailer and thought Santa and all the local children deserved an awesome new sleigh.
“The project has taken around eight weeks in total, but it was important to get it right – we’re sure Santa will be pleased.”
Lichfield Round Table is joined by volunteers from a local cause, including charities, schools and community organisations, on each night of the tour which runs from 1st to 23rd December.
Proceeds of the collection, which last year totalled £14,000, are then shared out to the local causes.
The new sleigh was built by Paul and fellow members Derek Collie, Andy George, Will Evanson, Simon Lamplugh, Chris Albutt and Andy Naylor.
But, in the true spirit of Christmas, the tablers were also helped by many local businesses to keep build costs down.
Paul added: “Mark Antrobus of Gabriel and Co metalworkers helped out with the welding, but we also wanted to have the frame galvanized to ensure it wouldn’t rust. Edward Howell Galvanizers, in Willenhall, did that for us as a massive show of support and I can’t thank them enough.
“Local builders merchant, Tippers, were also fantastic offering supplies free of charge. All-Fit Towbars and Trailers, Wickes, Midland Plastics, Westland Stainless, Devlin Wholesale and Décor Supplies have also been great in ensuring that costs were kept to a minimum.
“The finished sleigh is fantastic and I hope local residents will come out to have a look at it as well as supporting us again this year.”
The neighbourhood tour begins in Longdon and Kings Bromley on Saturday (1st December) and will visit every area of the city as well as taking in villages of Alrewas, Whittington, Fradley, Shenstone and Stonnall.