Heavy snow has stopped Santa Claus’s sleigh from coming to town for the first time in more than 30 years.
Organisers of an annual Christmas present delivery in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, told how bad weather made it impossible for any vehicle to pull their wooden sleigh and wooden reindeer through the streets.
But the Rhiwbina Garden Village Residents Association said Father Christmas and his helpers knew better than to pout or cry. Instead they trudged through snow more than a foot deep to deliver presents on foot.
“It’s never happened in more than 30 years of us doing this,” said association chairman Mary Clarke, 73.
“Normally the sleigh and reindeer are pulled by a 4×4 or something. But we just couldn’t do it. The snow is awful. It must be 14 inches deep in places.
“But when word got out that we were in trouble suddenly we had so many people – including children – offering to help Santa deliver the presents on foot.
“It’s no mean feat. We go to hundreds of houses. When I saw so many people offering to help, it bought tears to my eyes. It was really heart-warming.”
She added: “I just hope Santa didn’t have too many glasses of sherry and too many mince pies. I know he wasn’t driving, but still.”
Mrs Clarke said every year locals bought and wrapped presents then gave them to the association for Santa to deliver.