When Santa got stuck up the Hartlepool chimney

Firefighters come to the rescue of Santa.
Firefighters come to the rescue of Santa.
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While Pools were doing their bit in 1995, Britain was getting ready to enjoy the festivities.

There was plenty to enjoy on the box that Christmas Eve with the Pink Panther, ET: The Extra Terrestrial, and Christmas With Cliff all on BBC1. Wallace and Gromit in A Close Shave were on BBC2 and Tyne Tees were showing a Christmas edition of Heartbeat.

Closer to home, the Mail was getting festive when we reported on a rescue mission with a difference at Hartlepool fire station.

Santa had got stuck up the chimney after doing a trial run for his round-the-world efforts on Christmas Eve. But the fire team quickly came to the rescue and saved Christmas.

Hartlepool was bracing itself for a last-minute rush of shoppers. The roads were gridlocked.

There were reports of bus drivers taking more than 20 minutes just to get along York Road.

One driver from the Fens Estate said it had taken him more than half an hour to get into town because so many people were trying to get to the shops. One alternative was to avoid the queues and enjoy the many opportunities for entertainment across the town.

Four-piece showgroup Big Shot were on at the Hartlepool Workingmen’s Club, vocalist Cindy Marie was headlining at the Engineers Social Club, and Big City were the star attraction at the Owton Manor Social Club.