Santa is carrying out his annual pre-Christmas tour of Lichfield on a brand new sleigh this year – thanks to his special helpers at Edward Howell Galvanizers Ltd.
Members of Lichfield Round Table escort him around almost every street in the city, as well as the surrounding villages, to collect donations for good causes throughout December.
And they replaced his ageing sleigh with an entirely new hand-built vehicle to ensure this year’s charity collection goes without a hitch.
Edward Howell Galvanizers, based in Wednesfield, supported the project by galvanizing the steel frame.
Paul Jansz, a member of Lichfield Round Table, said: “We’ve been running the pre-Christmas tour for 55 years now and the current sleigh was simply worn out.
“We bought a new trailer, so we thought we might as well build a completely new metal frame as well as a new wooden structure to sit on it.
“The sleigh is put through quite a lot during the month and is used in all weathers, so we wanted to make sure it would stand up to the test.
“The project took around six weeks in total, but it was important to get it right – Santa says he’s very pleased.”
The Round Table is joined by volunteers from a local cause, including charities, schools and community organisations, on each night of the tour which runs every year from December 1 to December 23. Proceeds of the collection, which totalled an amazing £14,000 in 2017, are then shared out in the New Year.
The new sleigh was built by Paul and fellow members Derek Collie, Andy George, Will Evanson, Simon Lamplugh, Chris Allbutt and Andy Naylor. But, in the true spirit of Christmas, the Round Tablers were also helped out by a number of local businesses including Edward Howell Galvanizers.
Paul added: “We wanted to have the frame galvanized to ensure it won’t rust and Edward Howell Galvanizers did that for us as a show of support. I can’t thank them enough.
“The finished sleigh is fantastic and I hope local residents will come out to have a look at it as well as supporting us again this year.”
Jim Lindsay, sales manager at Edward Howell Galvanizers, said: “Paul approached us to see if we’d galvanise the steel frame to ensure it wouldn’t rust in future. We were happy to help out and were able to turn the project around very quickly.
“Lichfield Round Table does a fantastic job in raising money for charity and we were delighted to do what we could to assist.”
By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd