Another year another pile of presents, prizes and gifts. Some changes to the Hall upset some games. The old stage boxes became too wobbly and were scrapped which meant no Vortex Blaster until something can be sorted out to replace them. Last year’s machine gun was also not possible because the School’s new tables take up so much room in the store cupboard we could not use it. We were tempted to try but 200 balls loose around the floor looked likely to be too much fun! For this year only we let in one more trade stall to make up the income but for next year the challenge is made. New games wanted and the more violent and noisy the better. Contact Santa’s Secret Weapons Development Laboratories c/o Geof.








Sorry folks not many pics this year. I was on the machine gun and we were scrabbling for the ammunition and reloading as fast as we could all the time. The game made 22 which at only 20 pence a go (ten shots either one at a time or full auto) represents 1100 balls, loaded by me but picked up by Rob Johnson (suitably knackered afterwards). Sarah was around taking pictures and she e-mailed them all to me but something was seriously wrong with her camera and sadly I couldn’t use them. By way of compensation I have left these full size but they represent just a few minutes as we opened. Now that I’ve seen them properly myself, they are all shaky. Sorry, my fault, will do better next year.

Profits go to the ECA to spend on community projects but this show is designed simply not to make a loss, the games and side-shows and refreshments subsidise the kids presents and the gift stall fees cover the Hall letting, anything left is a bonus.

Joan Boughton has now left the village and Sue Johnson has taken over the chair of the committee however its all a bit of fun and Sue is now finding out what an unruly bunch we are but the actions were all in place the minutes were good and everything got done. I think the public enjoyed it, I am certain the volunteers did, I know I did so hopefully we get to do it all over again next year.

Santa’s fun day started life way back as “Gifts Galore” another of Joan Boughton’s creations. In those days it was a market with a Christmas theme selling things that groups of villagers had made,  typically as joint efforts. For most villagers however it was more to do with Santa visiting the village and the kids getting presents. We used to site Santa’s Grotto in the corner furthest from the door and the queue would be a family deep and go diagonally across the hall and gridlock the main door.

After this had run for a while a change crept over the village, everybody began to work far harder, employers became ever more demanding and time for making stuff eroded away. This did not kill the show however it prompted  a rethink. Alongside the stalls selling stuff there had always been some games and they had always been a success. The games side was grown and the making of stuff replaced by letting local small businesses with ‘Christmassy’ products buy space but the cake stall marched on regardless. The queue problem was solved by issuing Santa tickets with numbers and calling in the numbers as Santa got through them.

A recent breakthrough was to realise that partly through small business credentials and partly the size of our orders we were able to get into a real toy warehouse and get real trade bulk prices. Now as we don’t make any profit on the toys no other grotto can touch us for quality and price.

In current times we go more for craft type stalls and the games have become ever more noisy and ambitious although the powered bash the rat game was a step too far, the rat got killed (it was Peter Johnson!)