Our Town Crier, Roy Goodwin, led the Lantern Parade from the Candar to the War Memorial. I must say I admire Roy.
And then mayor Paul Crabbe switched on the lights – the best display, so far as I am aware, that we have ever had in Ilfracombe. Even the fireworks were the best ever.
Santa saw over 100 children that evening and each received a small present. I heard that some, at least, of the stores in the High Street had an excellent night’s trading – I hope that also applied to the rest.
On Saturday and Sunday, the focus moved to the Ropery Road carpark. The weather was less kind on Sunday, but, nonetheless, there were plenty of people both days. Santa thinks he saw over one hundred children each day. He has asked me to thank 51 Degrees North for keeping him and his helpers supplied with hot drinks!
Santa was very worried that, during the parades, especially the one from Ropery Road to the Harbour, children, some quite small, were walking dangerously close to the wheels of the sleigh. At at least one point, the driver stopped to warn children away, and Santa also told them to keep away. However, the driver cannot be looking all the time in his rear-view mirror, and Santa’s position prevents him from seeing what is happening very close to the sleigh. Even though the parades move very slowly, it is imperative that children do not get too close to moving vehicles. Believe me, seeing your well-loved child under the wheels of the sleigh would not enhance your enjoyment of Christmas, and it would probably mean that the sleigh would never see the light of day again. Please keep a good grip on your children.
Santa will be doing his now almost traditional trips around town commencing Tuesday 5th December with Hele and the Chambercombe area. Full details and times will be posted on the Santa Visits Ilfracombe Facebook page, so keep an eye out for that. The sleigh doesn’t give Santa much protection from the elements, so, if the weather is bad, times and/or routes may have to be changed at the last minute. If you want to be sure of seeing Santa, your best bet is to keep tuned to that page, as the elves will try to provide up-to-the-minute details of where the sleigh happens to be.
And finally, you will remember the Ilfracombe Library’s Summer Reading Challenge, when Olli Tooley gave away copies of his book, For Cats’ Eyes Only. Well, he’s doing it again. On 15th December at the Library, he will give away copies of the sequel, Dr Gnaw, to any child with a Library card.