Celebrating 50 years of a fabulous festive institution

Chris Heaton-Harris MP joins the Rotary Santa Sleigh.
Chris Heaton-Harris MP joins the Rotary Santa Sleigh.

For 50 years it has been as much as a part of Christmas as tinsel and turkey...

So what a pleasure it was for me to join The Rotary Club of Daventry on its annual Santa Sleigh tour around the streets of Daventry in this special golden anniversary year.

In the company of Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris and a band of merry volunteers, I spent last Thursday evening knocking on doors across Drayton and homes on the fringes of the town centre – shaking my collection tin and wishing Merry Christmas to one and all for more than two fun-filled, rewarding hours.

Our tour of the town was one of just 17 nights Rotary volunteers have joined Santa on the road this year, covering virtually every Daventry street and many surrounding villages to raise thousands of pounds for good causes.

Quite simply, if you need to get in the Christmas spirit, then put your name forward with Rotary next year and join the band of collectors.

From door-to-door, street-to-street, fun filled faces – young and old – filled windows and doors as Santa waved from his sleigh.

Most residents gave a small donation, others just said a polite hello, but a surprising number handed over notes in support of a Daventry tradition now bringing a Christmas sparkle to a third generation of town residents.

But, most joyously of all, are those homes that open the door before you knock and those homes that don’t just empty their pockets but empty jars of coins that they have been saving all year!

Those jars of coins have been put aside for this one special night in the year – how wonderful, how generous, of residents of our town are to go to so much trouble. Every penny collected via this Rotary event goes to help others less fortunate than ourselves, but it couldn’t be done without you, the lovely people of Daventry.

Thank you for your support and a very, very, merry Christmas!