A glittering slide into Christmas for Bloxwich and district begins this Saturday 28th November with the annual ‘Sparkle into a Bloxwich Christmas’ event in the village centre.
Organised by Walsall Council in co-operation with the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix, local businesses and more, the popular annual event is now a firm fixture on the festive calendar, and offers family fun – and shopping opportunities – for all!
This Saturday’s activities, which are focused on Bloxwich Park, High Street and All Saints Church, Elmore Row, run from 10am-4pm.
Fun for all!
There’ll be all the following:
A Christmas Trail
Santa on his sleigh handing out a FREE gift
Local Bloxwich choir performances
Christmas drinks and cakes
Christmas entertainment acts
Christmas shop window displays
And at All Saints Church
And a Christmas Concert from 4pm onwards!
Anyone looking for further information can contact Sharan at Walsall Council District Centre Management on 01922 654324.
Click on the image below for a larger version to print!
The host of purple crocuses recently spouting around Bloxwich, planted by the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix – most notably around the memorial oak tree in Bloxwich Promenade Gardens – are part of a national Rotary campaign to raise awareness of Rotary’s efforts with others in the global initiative to eradicate the disease Polio.
Just 50 years ago hundreds of people, mostly children, died each year here in the UK from this terrible disease.
With the advent of an oral vaccine and a vaccination programme the disease has now been eradicated from most countries worldwide.
Rotary’s efforts and it’s mass vaccinations in the remaining endemic countries have helped to get us to the point where now only three countries worldwide remain Polio endemic.
The purple crocus flower was chosen to promote the campaign as the purple colour is used to mark the fingers of vaccinated children when vaccination programmes take place overseas.
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:
In Bloxwich, you can always tell Christmas is coming – it’s when the Rotary Santa Claus drops in!
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 is no different, children and adults in the village and on the estates will be delighted to hear!
The Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix are enthusiastically maintaining the fine tradition of festive visitations and felicitations begun decades ago by their predecessor group, and they can always be sure of a warm welcome in so many places and from so many people that may have little else to cheer them on these cold, dark nights.
As is traditional, Santa and his community-minded helpers will be touring all over Bloxwich and district – including Blakenall Heath, Mossley, Dudley Fields, Lower Farm, and Turnberry (plus Pelsall!) – and that tour starts this week! See below for routes and times.
A LETTER FROM SANTA FOR YOUR CHILD
And for some added fun for families, if you’re on one of his routes, Santa and his helpers can deliver a letter from Santa to your child. Please send letters to Santa c/o 28a Lister Street, Willenhall, West Midlands. WV13 2HQ, or request a letter via the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix website. They will hand deliver a reply free of charge on the evening of your route.
Santa is also internet-savvy these days – so if you prefer to e-mail, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for this, or any other queries you have.
And what’s more – would you believe it, Norad in America may be able to track Santa on his way round the globe, but we can go one better, as you’d expect, and track him round Bloxwich!
On the evening of each route, you will be able to track Santa’s location in real-time online on Rotary’s website www.bloxwichphoenix.net, so there’s no need to stand outside in the cold weather for too long!
Of course, Santa’s visits to Bloxwich and district are not just about some much-needed seasonal jollity; there is a serious purpose too. Rotary is a charitable organisation that does good works both in the local community and on a global scale.
All the money collected from the Santa Sleigh collection will be donated to the Rotary Foundation of the United Kingdom. The charity provides funds for many important humanitarian projects at home and abroad is one of the major partners in the drive to finally eliminate polio worldwide.
They need our help, and donations are welcome, so why not look out for Santa coming your way, say hello, have some family fun and do some good, in the true spirit of Christmas?
The times and dates of Santa’s visits this Christmas are listed below for your reference. Remember they may be subject to change, but you can track Santa online to make sure!
For more information, you can also read or print online a special leaflet which is being distributed locally, via this link.
SANTA WILL BE VISITING YOU ON THE FOLLOWING NIGHTS AND ROUTES:
Members of the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix are jubilant this Christmas after completing a record-breaking round of Santa tours of Bloxwich and district.
Over the course of six nights, around fourteen hours, the hard-working and ever-enthusiastic charitable organisation took Father Christmas in his sleigh to around 4,500 homes around Bloxwich, seeing hundreds of children and their families, and loving every minute of it.
And despite the current difficult economic climate, the total funds raised by their charitable collections on this year’s Santa Sleigh runs have surpassed those of both 2009 and 2010, raising the magnificent sum of £1,784.78!
Steve Antill of Bloxwich Rotary said “We also delivered 101 personalised letters from Father Christmas to children, with fantastic results. We started this scheme last year, but this year we’ve had about a four fold increase in demand. From the feedback we’ve had we know how much these visits are appreciated, so thank you to everyone for letting us know.
“As we go around the Santa routes we get a mostly excellent reception. We do get asked a lot of questions, and so here are some answers to those most commonly asked.
“The donations you all make to us are given directly to our Rotary Foundation UK charity, with no expenses taken from the proceeds. All of our volunteers give up their time for nothing. The sweets we give out are paid for by contributions throughout the year from our club members and donations made by them. The letters were printed and materials donated by one of our members.”
This year the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix Santa Claus also had more than twenty big-hearted helpers braving the icy cold over six nights, including a number who are not actually club members, but who responded to a request for help when the club realised they were short-handed for some of the routes. Amongst the additional volunteers were members of Bloxwich Carnival Committee, Bloxwich Business Partnership, Co-operative Travel and local Labour councillors.
Over the six routes, Santa and his merry band of bucket-wielding helpers collected more than 15,000 coins, including over 5,000 pennies – showing that every donation, however small, really does make a difference.
Mr. Antill went on “It really has been a fantastic response from all our helpers, and we’re very thankful to them for making it possible.
“We’d also like to say a bit thank you from us, the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix, to you, the public of Bloxwich, for your support over the course of our six nights. We hope that you all have a fantastic Christmas in 2011 and that 2012 is a brilliant year for us all!”
We are sure that everyone in Bloxwich will be only too pleased to join The Bloxwich Telegraph in thanking our friends from Bloxwich Rotary in return, for continuing to maintain a long-standing local festive tradition by making our Christmas really special with their Santa sleigh runs.
For more information on the Rotary Club of Bloxwich Phoenix and their work, check out their website via this link.
News & heritage for Bloxwich, Walsall & Willenhall. Formerly The Bloxidge Tallygraph. Est. 2006, inspired by a Victorian news-sheet. Edditid by a Bloxidge Mon.