THE FAMILIAR jingle of festive bells will be returning to Shipston’s streets next month thanks to friendly Rotarians.
Members of Shipston Rotary Club and volunteers will be taking their sleigh out and about as children gear up for some pre-Christmas excitement – all in the name of festive cheer, goodwill and fund-raising.
It will mark a return to the area for the traditional charity sleigh, after the pandemic put the brakes on Santa’s visit last year.
The festive fun will officially get under way on Friday December 3 with the arrival of the town’s Victorian Evening, Christmas lights switch-on the Rotary’s first ever synthetic ice skating rink.
Skating sessions are available at Shipston Enterprise Centre between 2pm and 6pm on Friday December 3, 11am to 7pm on Saturday and 10am to 6pm on Sunday.
The local Santa sleigh routes are as follows:
Wednesday December 8, 5.30pm to 7.30pm: Berry Avenue, Queens Avenue, Pittway Avenue, Sadlers Avenue, Oldbutt Road, Shipston Gardens, Bailey Close, Burnell Close, Herdwick Fold, Webb Road, Clifford Place.
Thursday December 9, 5.30pm to 7.30pm: Foxgloves, Norgren Crescent,.Carr Close, Atcheston Close, Symons Way, Herdwick Field, Bradley Drive, Barrett Place, Coe Ave, Nichols Court, Nason Way.
Friday December 10, 5.30pm to 7.30pm: Station Road, The Driftway, Manor Lane, Greenway Road, Darlingscote Road, Brickhill Close, Haymeadow, Worcester Place, Warwick Place, Oxway Close, Glenn Close, Green Lane, Gerrards Road, West Street.
Sunday December 12, 4.30pm to 7.30pm: Tilemans Lane, Brickway Close, Beecham Road, The Sidings, Railway Crescent, Signal Road, Mayo Road, Donnington Road, Badgers Crescent, Hornsby Close, Cauldiwell Drive, Riverway, Watery Lane.
Monday December 13, 5.30pm to 7.30pm: Chapel View, Brewer Hill, Angela’s Meadow, Holly Road, Elm Road, Hawthorne Way, Ashgrove, Furzehill Road, Bosley Close.
Wednesday December 15, 5.30pm to 7.30pm: Callaways Road, Greenfields Close, Parsons Close, Simpson Road, Hanson Avenue, Costard Ave, Marshall Avenue, Clark Close.
There’s a good chance Santa will also be spotted around the town centre on Saturday December 18 between 9am and 1pm!
The club aims to help a host of local causes by contributing towards the projected £100,000 raised across the Heart of England Rotary region by the traditional sleigh run scheme.
And this year – in line with continuing Covid precautions – more ways to donate have been introduced, including through contactless payments, texts and VR codes.
Heart of England Rotary spokesperson Colin Winstone said: “Our Rotary Clubs have been helping Father Christmas raise funds to support those less fortunate by means of his sleigh runs for over 25 years all across the West Midlands. Now a firm favourite with local residents, the sound of the sleigh arriving excites children and adults alike.
“The proceeds benefit the Rotary Club’s chosen local community charities and good causes, including foodbanks, toy boxes, children’s parties, supporting the elderly, winter warmth projects and many more. There are nine Rotary- organised Santa sleighs throughout the Heart of England and everyone’s support is much appreciated.”
Anyone who is not able to see Father Christmas on the day but who would like to donate, can also do so by visiting: paypal.me/anthonyjoint1.