'Farmer Christmas' sends festive message to children via video

John Attridge as "Farmer Christmas", with Mabel Frost as Santa's helper, for a video message to pupils

John Attridge as "Farmer Christmas", with Mabel Frost as Santa's helper, for a video message to pupils at Otley and Witnesham Primary Schools - Credit: Suffolk New College

Santa was all set to swap his sleigh for a tractor - but had to send a video message instead of visiting schoolchildren in person.

Every year, "Farmer Christmas" from Suffolk Rural College (formerly Otley College) meets youngsters from Otley and Witnesham primary schools, handing out presents.

Sadly because of Covid, he couldn't visit the school at the end of term. Undeterred, the Farmer (played by agricultural lecturer John Attridge) decided to send a video message to children.

Mr Attridge said: “We always look forward to visiting the schools and it’s a real shame we haven’t been able to attend these last two years. However, we’ve sent video messages last year and this year - and we hope to welcome youngsters from the primary schools to our lambing weekend in April.”

Mabel Frost, 18, from Monks Eleigh, was dressed as Santa’s helper for the day.

Shannon Mann, Jack Davis and Marnie Sadd, students at Suffolk New College, recorded a Christmas song

Shannon Mann, Jack Davis and Marnie Sadd, performing arts students at Suffolk New College, recorded a song for pupils at Otley and Witnesham Primary Schools - Credit: Suffolk New College

Performing arts students from Suffolk New College in Ipswich created a short Christmas song that was  recorded for the children.

Shannon Mann, 17, from Ipswich, said: “I hope we’ve put some smiles on people’s faces.”

 Michaela Harris, headteacher of Otley and Witnesham Primary Schools, said: "It's a real shame that Farmer Christmas couldn't come and visit the children again and hand out presents.

"However, it was great to receive the two video messages - it really added to the feelgood factor of our festive-themed last day of term. Fingers crossed, we can look forward to visiting the college again in 2022.”
 

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