When Santa got stuck in the snow drift...

PUBLISHED: 17:42 22 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 11 May 2010

Lions Club of Royston

Lions Club of Royston

SANTA and his sleigh had to be rescued after becoming stranded in a snow drift. Father Christmas and his helpers from the Royston Lions club had been out delivering presents in Barkway on Thursday night when Crow Country was hit by heavy snow. After doing

SANTA and his sleigh had to be rescued after becoming stranded in a snow drift.

Father Christmas and his helpers from the Royston Lions club had been out delivering presents in Barkway on Thursday night when Crow Country was hit by heavy snow.

After doing their rounds the group went for their Christmas meal, and 13 of them were making their way back to Royston when they got stuck in the snow near Reed, and had to be rescued by a kindly passer by.

Tessa Ward, from the Lions Club, said: "We found ourselves driving through a blizzard of horizontal snow and ultimately came to a stop. We were a convoy of five cars followed by Keith Collard driving the tractor pulling Santa's sleigh.

"One of the cars became stuck in a drift and a man driving a four by four tried to get us going, but by this time the cars were becoming trapped in the drifting snow.

"We bedded in for the night and tried to keep warm. The advice from the Police was to park up and get out and walk. Some of our members were not dress for this having just come up to Barkway for the meal and anyone who tried it rapidly got soaking we and frozen with severe risk of hypothermia," she said.

But just as it looked like the group would be stuck in their cars all night, good Samaritan Graham Swann appeared and offered them shelter.

"At about 1am Graham appeared out of the blizzard and offered us shelter if we could get to his house about a mile away," said Mrs Ward.

"A couple decided to walk and Keith - our hero - unhitched the sleigh and took us one at a time down to Graham's home. Keith continued for many hours but eventually the tractor became stuck and he managed to bring the last ones back on foot.

"Graham and his wife Trish provided us all with warm drinks and food until drawn broke, when the men went out to dig the cars out," she said.

The Lions spent the night at Mr Swann's house before returning home on Saturday morning, when the sleigh was also recovered.

Janet Daniels, Royston Lions president, said: "We would like to extend our heart felt thanks Graham, Trish and Oala who welcomed us into their home, it was so kind of them to take in so many strangers."

*The Lions Club are always looking for new members to join and are holding a coffee morning on 23 January at the Market Hill rooms. For more information call Mrs Daniels on 01763 260 009.

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