'Creepy' Scrooge axed from controversial Santa's grotto

Some characters prompted visitors to compared the event more to Halloween than Christmas.

Some characters prompted visitors to compared the event more to Halloween than Christmas. - Credit: Jenny Yaxley

A 'creepy' character which left children in tears has been axed from a controversial drive-thru Santa's grotto in Norfolk. 

Since opening on Friday, the attraction in the grounds of Taverham Hall, just outside Norwich, has attracted fierce criticism from families.

Complaints included traffic chaos, poor organisation and performers who gave a fright to children.

Un-festive looking inflatables as part of the event. 

Un-festive looking inflatables as part of the event. - Credit: Jenny Yaxley

But now producer Ollie George has revealed the Scrooge character at the centre of the upset has been removed.

The traffic system has also been changed and additional stewards have been put in place to ease congestion.

In addition, Mr George has changed the name of his company from We Make Events to WME, following complaints another group with the same name.

It comes after legal action was threatened by the We Make Events campaign, which support professionals in the arts industry amid the coronavirus shut down.


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In a tweet the group said it was "in no way associated with the event or its organisers.”

Some visitors to the Santa's drive-thru grotto at Taverham Hall experienced queues for more than two hours. 

Some visitors to the Santa's drive-thru grotto at Taverham Hall experienced queues for more than two hours. - Credit: Louise Purdy

It added: “We are exploring legal options to prevent the organisers from using our name.”

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Meanwhile, on social media, some revellers have praised the event. 

Bonnie Askew said: "We’ve been tonight and it was much better then we expected, from start to finish it was an hour, no scary people and Father Christmas was good. We had two very happy granddaughters.

"Don’t listen to the negative comments, tonight was definitely better then what most people have said they must have changed a few things to make it better."

However, Simon Littleboy, landlord of The Ringland Swan bar and restaurant, said 'ridiculous' traffic from the event had caused five tables to cancel on Friday night.

He added: "Customers told us the roads were an absolute nightmare and we lost about 14 booked covers in total. There may have also been people who hadn't booked who were on their way.

"The pub industry is on its knees as it is and every penny counts. I'm annoyed we lost tables."

Customers who attended on Friday and Sunday can contact WME on rudolf@norwichchristmas.com for refunds.

Mr George added: "We will look at each refund request individually and endeavour to respond to everyone within 14 days. "

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