Meet Santa in Taunton this November

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By abbie_taunton at 15:36 on 01/11/12

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Father Christmas will arrive in style at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre next month accompanied by Del Boy and his Reliant Robin three-wheeler car.

Santa arrives at 11am on November 24 escorted by Del Boy-lookalike Steve Rooney in time to host a festive grotto at the garden centre.

Norma Moore, General Manager of the family-run garden centre at Monkton Heathfield, said: "We're delighted that Father Christmas has taken time out of his busy schedule to host a Christmas grotto here at the garden centre.

"We are celebrating our 30th anniversary this year so thought it would be great to link our Santa's arrival with the 1980s, the decade that the garden centre was launched.

"We decided on an 'Only Fools and Horses' theme as it was such a popular television programme in the 1980s. We think grandparents, mums and dads will enjoy seeing Del Boy as much as the boys and girls will enjoy seeing Father Christmas.

"Santa has explained to us that his reindeer need to get lots of rest before they have their busiest day of the year on Christmas Eve, December 24. As they have to fly around the world, he's decided to come to the garden centre in Del Boy's yellow Reliant Robin instead."

Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre is asking for owners of three-wheel cars to join in with Santa's parade.

Norma added: "We would like anyone with a three-wheeled car to join Steve on his parade to the garden centre with Father Christmas.

"It would be great to see a whole host of three-wheeled vehicles accompanying him to the garden centre. It is free of charge to display and vehicles of any age would be welcome."

People interested in taking part in Santa's arrival with their three-wheeler should call Norma on 01823 412381.

Cast members from the Wayfarers Pantomime Society will also be joining in with the celebrations at the garden centre on Saturday, November 24 from 10am.

They will be dressed as characters from their up and coming production of Dick Whittington.

Santa's grotto will open at the garden centre on Saturday, November 24 from 11.30am until 4pm and and then every Saturday and Sunday until Sunday, December 23 from 10.30am until 4pm.

Father Christmas likes to take his lunch break from 1pm until 1.45pm to feed his reindeer.

Santa's grotto is being run by Children's Hospice South West (CHSW). All proceeds from the grotto will go to CHSW, which is one of the garden centre's charities of the year and is currently the only provider of specialist hospice care for children in the region.

Entry to Father Christmas' grotto costs £5 per child and includes a present, which can be chosen from Father Christmas' workshop, a Christmas colouring card and a sticker.

Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The award-winning, independent garden centre was launched in 1982 and is run by the Bellman family with the help of nearly 100 staff. Some have been with the business for more than 25 years.

Santa will arrive at Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre at 11am on Sunday, November 24.

For further details about Santa's arrival or his grottos, please drop into Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre, which is located just off the A38 at Monkton Heathfield between Bridgwater and Taunton, call 01823 412381 or visit

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012

Repeats: Every Day until Sunday, December 23, 2012

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