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Santa arrives at Dobbies in Shinfield

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SANTA CLAUS has come to town.

On Saturday, the jolly man in the red suit walked through the aisles of Dobbies in Shinfield, bringing some early festive cheer on his way to his custom-built grotto.

He delighted children of all ages (who are on the good list) by handing out sweets, hearing present requests and ho ho hoing through the building.

Youngsters could also enjoy crafts and face-painting while Bigfoot the Clown was on hand to … erm … clown around.

Monty helped collect money for Action for Children

There were also charity collections including a visit from Tim Haig and his dog Monty on behalf of Action For Children.

The family fun day marked the start of the festive season for the Hyde End Lane garden centre, and Santa, now he is in residence in his grotto, will be welcoming boys and girls for festive storytelling sessions, Christmas breakfasts and, of course, those present requests. For those who don’t have a booking, there is also a postbox outside his grotto.

Dan Adams, Dobbies general manager, said the event was a big success.

“We’re really pleased. It’s good that people have made an effort despite the rain.

Children had a go at making festive crafts

“Father Christmas’ house is bigger this year and bookings have been going well. They can be booked online and Santa will be here until Christmas Eve.

“As well as the new grotto, we’ve lots planned for the new year as well.”

And Santa was delighted with his festive booking: one of many across the borough in the run-up to December 25.

Speaking exclusively to The Wokingham Paper, he said: “I’m very excited, I’m looking forward to seeing lots of boys and girls.”

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