SANTA gave his faithful reindeer the afternoon off when he flew in to meet youngsters at Caister Infant School - arriving instead by helicopter.

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St Nick touched down on the playing field earlier today (Thursday) to the delight of the excited youngsters who had been waiting patiently for him in the rain.

The bearded visitor and two of his helpful elves were chauffeured for their flying visit by a crew from CHC Helicopters based at North Denes Heliport in Great Yarmouth. After landing on the field Santa went to visit each class and handed out presents to individual pupils.

Brendan McCarney, headteacher at the Kingston Avenue school, said the youngsters were used to Santa paying his annual visit via an unusual method of transport - having welcomed him from a police car, fire engine and motorbike in the past - but his appearance by helicopter was the most spectacular yet.

“It was a complete surprise to the children, they didn’t know anything about it. They were guessing whether he was going to come by police car or on a fire engine,” he added.

“They’re quite used to helicopters going over but when Santa’s approached the playing field and landed it was pretty spectacular. They were very excited even though it was raining.”

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