Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 25°C

min temp: 18°C

Search

A date with Rudolph was fun

PUBLISHED: 20:05 11 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:11 03 March 2010

ON any other night eight men dressed in boiler suits and woolly hats would have been arrested for a crime in the offing.

georgina.wroe@eveningstar.co.uk

ON any other night eight men dressed in boiler suits and woolly hats would have been arrested for a crime in the offing.

But in the shadow of a thirty foot Rudolph and under Santa's watchful gaze, Ipswich Round Tablers were simply doing a lot of good work for charity.

And with me in tow, patrolling the Woodbridge Road area of Ipswich, Rudolph and his float raised a bumper £720 for the East Anglian Ambulance Service and Suffolk Ambulance and Rescue Service (SARS).

The previous nightly record was £620.

For a three week spell every Christmas a band of doctors, chartered surveyors, accountants and the like, forgot their day jobs and, singing along to Jingle Bells booming from the PA, transform themselves into Santa's little helpers.

The happy crew of out-size elves scamper alongside Santa's sleigh, buckets in hand collecting money.

Fortified by a quick pint in the John Bull to stave off a wind chill that could have frozen more than Rudolph's nose off, it was difficult to see who enjoyed it more – Ipswich Round Table or the kids who lined the way.

Organiser Chris Powell said: "It's a great way to have a fun time and make a lot of money for a good cause."

Now in its 25th year, Ipswich Round Table hopes to raise even more cash than the £7,000 raised last year for the Disability Care Enterprise.

Most nights, along the average five-mile route, donations top the £500 mark.

The all time record until last night was £620. Last Tuesday saw the Chantry Estate divvy up £420.

According to driver Ian Cook who last week managed to get the thirty foot long float stuck down a Chantry estate cul-de-sac, it's the wealthiest areas in Ipswich that donate the least.

He said: "All those big houses, it's difficult to get people to come out. It's much better in the smaller terraces. One pensioner gives us £20 every year."

Brunswick Drive family, Laura Cullen her husband Matthew and their two children five-year-old Megan and three-year-old George look forward to the float every year.

Mrs Cullen said: "I remember it from when I was little. The kids love it and even my mother in law gets very upset if she misses it."

Waving at Santa, Megan said: "I think I've been a good girl all year. I really hope Santa brings me a doll."

And with another Ho Ho Ho from Santa, aka Laurence Stead, the float pulled off again.

This time heading for the Duke of York for a sherry and a mince pie.

Because even Santa's little helpers need some encouragement.

Weblink:

www.rtbi.co.uk

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists