Children in the village of Cardenden have had a real treat this week as Santa and all of his helpers arrived early – and in style!
The Santa Train is the brainchild of local resident Bobby Tomlinson (39), who along with his kids and neighbours, has managed to visit every street in the village to spread some cheer.
It all came about after Bobby, who works from home, bought a sit on tractor for him and his kids to use. When one of the little ones suggested creating a train at Christmas time, the idea was put into action with the help of Bobby’s neighbour, John Shields.
“It took about three or four months to build the idea up, and then I just put it on Facebook.
“In just the one night, we had over 300 likes and loads of comments, and it just snowballed.”
The initial idea was to visit a few streets within Cardenden to hand out selection boxes and give local kids the chance to meet Santa and his elves and reindeer.
But due to the huge amount of interest in the project –the Cardenden Santa Train Facebook page now has over 750 likes – Bobby and his team of helpers were able to go to every street in the village over three nights.
“All of the kids got a selection box and got the chance to meet Santa, and if we had time, we would let them have a wee shot on the train as well, so it’s been really good.
“It really has been the best feeling in the world to do this for all the kids in the village, and to give them these memories.
“There’s been so many special moments across the week, and although it’s been emotionally tiring and we’re all shattered, it’s been fantastic.”
Even Bobby’s kids have been helping out while school’s on holiday, and he said: “My little boy turned to me the other night and said ‘Dad, this has been one of the best times of my life’, so that’s really nice.”
Following a visit to Rachel House Hospice on Wednesday, the Santa Train will finish for the year, but Bobby said it’s something he definitely wants to continue.
“Oh we’ll be back bigger and better next year, so everyone can look forward to that.”
On Wednesday, Bobby and the rest of Santa’s elves were headed to Rachel House Hospice in Kinross, run by CHAS, to continue their goodwill adventure. After a generous donation of £100 from local resident Helen Morrison, Bobby and the team were keen to help more children, and when the idea was pitched to the staff at the hospice, they were thrilled. Bobby said: “It’s really a privilige to have the opportunity to visit these kids.”