For over 40 years Santa's Sleigh has been a well-loved tradition of Christmas in Holmes Chapel & District. On December evenings, local voluntary groups bring Santa and his Sleigh around the neighbourhood so that excited children can meet Santa at their doorstep. Our previous sleigh was built in 1989 by the Holmes Chapel Round Table, which sadly closed in 2002. In 2002, the Holmes Chapel Rotary Club took over the running of the sleigh until they also closed in 2018.
Since 2018, Holmes Chapel Partnership have been the custodians of the Santa Sleigh.
We estimate that over the past 33 years, collections made using the Santa Sleigh have exceed £100,000, all of which has been shared throughout our community, and has supported many local organisations and charities.
A NEW SLEIGH FOR 2022!
After 33 years of service and many annual maintenance repairs, the time came to rebuild the Holmes Chapel Sleigh. The galvanised steel chassis was sound, but the wooden seating area and sleigh floor was showing its age. We decided that the wooden sections would need to be removed and rebuilt with suitable Marine grade material. Our reindeer looked better in the dark when illuminated, but close observers would notice that Rudolf had lost part of a front leg.
We appealed for support from volunteers and the Bridge the Gap Shed Crew accepted the challenge. We then looked for support to purchase the materials, which would allow us to completely refurbish the sleigh and run for another third of a century, and happily Anwyl Homes supported us with a grant for £1,050.
In October the sleigh was collected from its storage location to commence the rebuild. As planned, the wooden seating sections were removed and donated to the Victoria Club bonfire for their last public outing.
The shape of the new sleigh will look rather familiar, as thanks to Dave Horsman (the original sleigh designer) we were able to use his original drawings to rebuild the new seating sections.
Thanks go to the following:
Anwyl Homes whose grant of £1040 paid for the basic materials to rebuild the sleigh.
Will Burnham and his Shed Crew who volunteered their time, their expertise and the tools to rebuild the sleigh
Jo Green for the artwork on the reindeer
Peter Whiers and Richard Garton of Holmes Chapel Partnership for hours spent organising the music system, painting and making sure the sleigh was finished on time
Hopley’s Tyres for providing the batteries for the sleigh light and sound
Graham and Tracy Lowe of Lowe’s Farm Shop in Byley who have offered a home to Santa’s Sleigh for the rest of the year when he is not using it
Sam Dale’s for housing the sleigh during December