Ho ho ho-ping to get rid of Santa

AN elderly Ipswich couple have an unexpected Christmas guest - but are hoping someone will step up to offer him a home.

AN elderly Ipswich couple have an unexpected Christmas guest - but are hoping someone will step up to offer him a home.

Edwin Budgen, and his wife, Rita, of Robin Drive, came home from their regular bingo session in the town with an unusual prize - a 6ft mechanical Father Christmas.

And as they or their family have no space for it themselves they are hoping it will go to a good home where it will be appreciated over the Christmas period.

Mr Budgen, a 71-year-old grandfather of six, said: “We have been going to bingo for years - we go a one or two times a week and have won a couple of hundred pounds a few times.

“But this is the most unusual thing we have come home with.”

They won the Santa decoration, designed to sit outside on the roof of a home, at a table game where they were playing for a random selection from a range of Christmas-themed prizes.

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Mr Budgen said: “At first I thought my son would have it for the grandchildren, but he told me that he wouldn't be able to take it as he didn't have the space to put it up.

“It is probably worth some money I suppose - but I really don't to give it to someone who will just sell it on straight away for a profit.

“If someone wants it for a children's home, or a prize for a charity competition, that would be great.”

When fully assembled it stands around 6ft, but comes packed in a box that would be easy for anyone who wants to collect it by car.

Anyone interested in offering the unwanted Santa a home should contact Mr or Mrs Budgen on 01473 414673.

Have you got a funny Christmas story to tell us? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

THE Evening Star has launched a hunt for the best dressed houses in the Ipswich area this Christmas.

If you've transformed your house into your very own Santa's grotto, you could be in with a chance of winning £500 of Focus DIY vouchers.

The Star has teamed up with Focus to offer a top prize of £500 in vouchers for the store, so start sending your pictures now. We want to see the results of your sterling efforts to decorate homes in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Hadleigh, Stowmarket and all the villages in between.

Or maybe your workplace has splashed out on lights as decorations this year and is the talk of the street.

See www.eveningstar.co.uk for details on how to submit pictures.

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