On Saturday saw the beginning of the traditional Toad Hall and Henley Lions Christmas Santa event and the primary recipient of the proceeds of Santa’s Grotto this year will be the Henley Riding for the Disabled Group. A competition was organised by Martyn Sheldrake, manager of Toad Hall, for a young person to ride in a limousine with Santa.
The young lad who rode with Santa was Andrew Hepden. As you’ll see from the photos, he’s severely handicapped, but certainly enjoyed the whole of the experience. He met Santa and his 2 elves at Toad Hall then he, his father Fred, and one of the elves accompanied Santa to the town hall. They were driven in a 1950s Bentley, kindly loaned for the event
by Hoffmans, which was magnificent as you’ll see from the photo. Santa was met in the Market Square by Jane Brazil of the Henley Riding for the Disabled. They had brought along one of their miniature Shetland ponies called Dumpling. Santa met up with a number of children in the
Market Square offering sweets before returning to Toad Hall for the grand opening of his grotto. The ribbon was cut by Joy Doggart a representative of Henley RDA and Andrew. Andrew was the first to meet with Santa in his grotto. In the morning Santa saw 36 more of his young followers and a further fifteen or so later.
Santa’s grotto at Toad Hall is absolutely brilliant. It is the creation of Lynn Burgess of Toad Hall.
Santa and his trusty elves are all from the Lions Club of Henley-on-Thames. Santa’s two elves in the photos are Joan Evans and Chris Adam. Both are members of Henley Lions. Chris is the one in the darker glasses.