Rain didn’t stop play at Long Sutton Christmas Fayre

In the grotto ' members of EELS in fancy dress with young visitors. Photo (TIM WILSON):SG121215-119TW
In the grotto ' members of EELS in fancy dress with young visitors. Photo (TIM WILSON):SG121215-119TW

Pouring rain put a dampener on outdoor events at Long Sutton’s big Christmas Fayre on Saturday, but it definitely didn’t stop play.

Parish council chairman Ruth Barber was in the team working in the great outdoors from 7am-5pm and was thoroughly soaked by midday.

Parish event team Mark Moore, Ruth Barber, Charles Moore, Karen Treacher and Richard King. SG121215-122TW

Parish event team Mark Moore, Ruth Barber, Charles Moore, Karen Treacher and Richard King. SG121215-122TW

Ruth said: “Everybody seemed to be smiling from what I saw.”

Indoor attractions included a food fair at Market House, a Civic Society event at Market House and the Events and Entertainments in Long Sutton (EELS) amazing Santa Grotto at St Mary’s Church Hall.

The team of grotto builders turned the hall into a forest scene and visitors to Santa went through a tunnel before emerging into a snow storm to find Santa in an igloo.

EELS chairman Jack Tyrrell was keeping a big surprise under his hat as this year Santa had some fabulous gifts for the youngsters, including dolls in prams and pushchairs.

Paige Haynes, who won the competition to design the front cover of the Christmas fayre brouchure. SG121215-125TW

Paige Haynes, who won the competition to design the front cover of the Christmas fayre brouchure. SG121215-125TW

“You should have seen those kids faces,” said Jack. “One little girl went away saying ‘Santa’s given me a pram’.”

Jack and fellow district councillor Laura Eldridge each gave £250 from their ward budgets towards the presents and 360 were given out, including a consignment of larger, reconditioned toys.

The event had a Wizard of Oz theme and EELS members dressed as characters from the film.

The Wizard of Oz theme was also part of the outdoor event but sadly rain washed away the yellow brick road that had been chalked on the ground.

Alfie and Tobi Gittings with Santa in the grotto. SG121215-121TW

Alfie and Tobi Gittings with Santa in the grotto. SG121215-121TW

Among those supporting the event were Long Sutton Army Cadets and Mrs Barber paid tribute to their work on the day, which included helping to man the road closures so children were safe in the market place.

One of the youngsters attending the event was Paige Haynes, who won the competition to design the front page of Long Sutton’s Christmas Fayre brochure.

Paige had also been a guest at the Christmas lights switch on. Also at the switch-on were Mrs Barber, her son Charles Moore, granddaughters Olivia and Hannah Moore and the Rev Jonathan Sibley. The honour of throwing the switch went to Hannah.