We did ask the obvious question of Father Christmas – seen behind the wheel of a very impressive looking tractor.

“So, what happened to the reindeer?”

A chuckle turned into a grin before he convulsed with laugher.

“Ho, ho, ho,” was the best we got, as we watched him roar into the distance, the momentary appearance at an end.

What he left behind was a beautifully illuminated Ben Burgess showroom at Coates, well and truly beginning its celebration of Christmas.

Passers-by can once more enjoy the spectacular thrill of the festive season as they walk, cycle, drive or even view the showroom from the top deck of a Whittlesey to March double decker.

A little late-night shopping, a dash or two of mulled wine, and a mince pie or three, celebrated opening night of the Christmas lights switch on.

Ben Burgess keeps the site lit up throughout December – and a 12 days of Christmas campaign culminates with the chance to win a special prize.

Those looking for a repeat visit of Father Christmas, however, may suffer disappointment.

He is fully booked and busy elsewhere.