Forget the sleigh, it's pedal power all the way as Santa cycles around Burwell
PUBLISHED: 11:07 28 December 2018
Santa cycled his way around Burwell with a little help from his elves and reindeer providing the pedal power as the village made Father Christmas' mode of transport environmentally-friendly.
Twenty-five members of Burwell Bike Club played a part in getting Father Christmas around the village to see children ahead of the big day.
The idea was to recreate a childhood memory of round table groups taking Father Christmas/Santa on a trailer around the houses – but for it to be environmentally-friendly and personal.
The original idea came from Beth Brunton, ex-chairwoman of the Friends of Burwell Village College group, and was adopted by the Burwell Bike Club, who then planned the event and put it into action.
Pete Lancaster, one of the organisers, said: “We know that groups have dressed up as Santa and cycled around, but couldn’t find anything online about a group actually cycling Santa.
“It was a really great environmentally-friendly way to do this and something I would hope we would now do annually… and perhaps others around the UK could do similar, making Santa carbon neutral.
“Wedged between two evenings of rain we had perfect weather, with a full moon, to cycle Santa around Burwell streets and taking in five stops.
“Twenty-five BBC cyclists turned out, dressed mostly as elves and all had lit up their bikes.
“Lots of children and parents came out and it was such joyous fun. We had a bluetooth speaker strapped to the rack on my bike pumping out Christmas music, plus a loud hailer slung to make announcements/siren sounds to alert people of us coming through.”
Steve Smith, of Burwell Co-op, supplied sweets for the team to give to children, who dipped into stockings to receive them.
The group also stopped at Ness Court retirement home to sing a couple of carols (Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Away in Manager) and so they could see Santa and the lit-up bikes.
Santa also stopped by at a children’s disco event at The Burwell Ex-Service & Social Club where he was gently mobbed before finishing at The Fox for a well-earned drink and mince pie supplied by Bob and Lou.
“It was a real community effort, but without the BBC - formed earlier this year - and their committee, with additional help, it wouldn’t have happened.
“The sleigh was painted by Chris Jennings, lit up by Graham and Judy Brown, and Rich Olivey was the main co-ordinator, planner and driving force to making this actually happen, so deserves much of the credit.”
“The cycling reindeer were John Rollin and Tom Judd and there were plenty of BBC elves to help Santa on his way.”
The group wasn’t collecting any money but for anyone wishes to donate the money will go towards supporting the ‘YouCanBikeToo – YCBT’ group based in Milton - who lent the BBC a four-wheeled bike, which was transformed into a sleigh.