Santa heads for Marina by sleigh

SANTA will be spreading some early Christmas cheer this weekend when he makes his way through the town to take residence until Christmas.

He will be travelling in his sleigh pulled by his faithful ‘Rudolph’ tomorrow as he takes his place at Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience (HME).

He will set off from Summerhill park at 1.30pm, travelling along Catcote Road, Park Road, York Road and Marina Way, arriving at HME at 3pm.

Santa will then spend the following week hard at work preparing his special quayside Christmas grotto at the toursit venue.

The grotto will open on Saturday, December 8, and from then on Santa will be available to visit there every day between 2pm and 4pm up to and including Christmas Eve.

Tickets cost just £4.50 per child, including a small gift. A £2 discount is available to people who at the same time purchase tickets for entry to HME or for the Christmas Crackers event later in the month.

Council chiefs say visits to Father Christmas are expected to be very popular, so to avoid queues, people are advised to buy their tickets in advance from Hartlepool Tourist Information Centre, in Church Square, on (01429) 890000.

Santa’s visit to HME has been organised by the council and HMS Trincomalee Trust, which owns the historic warship which is moored in HME’s dock.

Claire Munroe, of the council’s culture and information team, said: “Father Christmas will be arriving in town in fine style at the reins of his sled.

“We hope people will turn out to give him a wave along the way, or better still come along to Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience and treat him to the warmest of Hartlepool welcomes.

“A big ‘thank you’ goes to Norma Dunn of Hartlepool wedding hire shop Feathers & Lace for the loan of Santa’s sleigh and ‘reindeer’”.