As we said in a recent post, in Bloxwich, you can always tell when Christmas is coming – it’s when the Rotary Santa Claus drops in! And the Bloxwich Phoenix branch of Rotary continued its traditonal – and highly enjoyable – annual sleigh-ride around the Bloxwich area last night, when Santa and his happy band of Rotary helpers – plus Terry Bate (Bloxwich Carnival Chairman), and Bloxwich East Councillors Shaun & Julie Fitzpatrick – dropped in on the populace of Lower Farm, Little Bloxwich!
For decades, the real herald of the season has not been Mr Robin, Jack Frost, snow falling, or even naff festive muzak in the shops – it’s been the jolly red-suited man in the sleigh with the golden cog-wheel on its side. And this year, after successful visits to Blakenall Heath, Mossley, Pelsall (!) and Dudley Fields, Santa’s arrival down on on the ‘Farm was welcomed with open arms by young and old alike.
But it was a close call this year, as not only had winter rain been hammering the already half-frozen folks of Little Bloxwich for hours, but a technical hitch with the sleigh’s sound system had threatened a ‘silent night’ for all concerned; a combination of the two would have put a real dampener on this much-loved seasonal scene-opener.
Fortunately, not only did the glitch evaporate after a modest delay to the start of Mr Claus’s peregination, but by the time all was in motion, the rain had stopped too! With Santa’s slightly soggy little helpers, who have had to endure all weathers this year, breathing a BIG sigh of relief, the show got on the road, and The Bloxwich Telegraph’s Editor Stuart Williams, who had been dodging the downpour in a nearby bus ‘shelter’, met up with the Rotary parade in Bamford Road, joining the highly musical and very jolly party to follow the rest of the route from there – and taking the photos you see here along the way (to download full-size pictures, see the link at the end of this article).
The Rotary ‘elves’ were kept busy knocking on doors for donations, delivering Santa’s letters to youngsters and meeting happy families, some of whom braved the damp but thankfully rain-free air to meet Father Christmas in person – and like the elves with their Santa hats, hi-vis tabards and jingling buckets, those who did got a very warm welcome!
With smiling faces on every street and corner ready to welcome in the season and support Rotary’s great causes with their coppers and more, the night’s charitable tally soon grew to a very creditable total of £192,68 and the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix – and Santa – send big thanks to everyone who supported them on Lower Farm.
The Rotary Santa tour is a great Bloxwich tradition – it gladdens the heart of young and old alike and helps a hard-working and very worthy charitable organisation do remarkable good works in the world. Truly – what better start to Christmas could you have?
TURNBERRY TONIGHT Tonight sees Santa’s final tour of the Bloxwich estates as he and his Rotary entourage land at Turnberry, where the tour begins at 4.30pm and concludes at 8.45pm. His Turnberry route is planned to be as follows:
Saunton Road, Enville Close, Sunningdale Way, Birkdale Road, Formby Way, Walton Heath, Selsdon Road, Gleneagles Rd, Burslem Close, Astbury Close, Elgin Road, Wetherby Street, Saddleworth Road, Redbourn Road, Nairn Road, Ferndown Close, Alnwick Road, Ganton Road.
Routes/Times are subject to change. You can check and track routes at www.bloxwichphoenix.net
You can find out more about the friendly and community-minded Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix and the work of Rotary in general at the above website – the branch also has a Facebook group.
FOR FULL-SIZE PICTURES FROM SATURDAY NIGHT – see our Flickr Album to download via THIS LINK!