May 23 2013 Latest news:
By MARK BOGGIS
Sunday, December 9, 2012
RECORD numbers have flocked to a popular museum in Carlton Colville to experience an “unforgettable trip” into a “woodland winter wonderland.”
Festive fun has seen more than 350 people enjoy Santa Tram rides at the East Anglia Transport Museum this weekend.
After launching visits to meet Santa on a vintage tram at the museum in Chapel Road for the first time last December, the popularity has seen this Christmas’ weekend trips fully-booked.
With children and adults lining up to take trips on either a single decker Blackpool tram or a double decker London tram to see Father Christmas and his helpers in Santa’s grotto, the Santa Tram has been hailed a success.
Tony Grice, publicity officer and chairman of the Santa Tram committee at the museum, said: “Obviously it has got more popular than the first year when the Santa Tram was launched. We take 30 on a tram - a mixture of children and adults - and we do six runs a day as the Santa Tram operates every half hour. This weekend and next weekend are fully booked and the visitors have remarked upon how much they have enjoyed it - we’ve had all positive vibes.”
The trip starts in the centre of the museum, aboard the Santa Tram, and what follows is a magical ride deep into the heart of the wintry woodland.
With imitation snow falling, twinkling lights and elves, the excitable children (and their families) arrive at Santa’s grotto to be greeted by Father Christmas and his helpers.
Santa then boarded the tram and said: “Hello children we have been busy going around the warehouse getting presents for you.”
Gifts are then delivered to each of the youngsters with cheers and cries of ‘wow’ echoing out, before Father Christmas waved to them and said: “I have got to get off now but I hope you all have a great Christmas and don’t forget on Christmas Eve we will see you all again.”
With the bell sounding, the Santa Tram left the grotto and headed back to the transport museum, with one of the youngsters saying: “This is an adventure.”
Hot fruit punch and mince pies awaited the adults, and with entertainment on each day as well - including performances from singers, bell ringers, three different choirs and Loddon Brass Band - the visitors were all treated to a memorable trip to see Santa.
Mr Grice said: “When we started with the Santa Tram for the first time last year, I did not know what we were getting ourselves into. On the first weekend last year we did not fill the tram, the second weekend was about 80pc and then the third weekend was fully booked.
“Since then we have been very lucky and I am delighted to say that we have been fully-booked - in fact, we have been taking lots of inquiries from people that have been wanting to come.”
Clematis armandii is a great favourite of mine but, it has its drawbacks. First of all, it is not the hardiest member of its tribe, and being evergreen, once its foliage becomes frost damaged this becomes a permanent feature.