For the first time in more than 50 years, Dunstable and District Round Table will not be bringing joy to the area with their Christmas float.
For reasons including dwindling participation as well as health and safety restrictions, the float won’t be visiting Dunstable, Houghton Regis and surrounding villages this year.
The procession almost came to a permanent halt last year. On December 6 the crew were unable to perform their usual duties as only the driver and Father Christmas turned up.
A secret spokesman for Father Christmas himself, who has been appearing on the float for the past 30 years, spoke to the Gazette about his fond float memories.
He said: “The atmosphere was great going out in the evenings. Seeing neighbours talking to each other while waving to Santa. Weather didn’t spoil the enjoyment of seeing those smiling faces young and old.
“Everyone who came out and helped said that it made Christmas.”
Volunteers would parade the float around Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Edlesborough, Eaton Bray, Kensworth, Studham and Tottenhoe, handing out presents to children and collecting for local charities.
Santa’s spokesman added: “Little did I realise that when I saw the magical Santa float for the first time aged eight that I would be involved with it for over 30 years
“The first people to see the float would now have grandchildren watching.
“Knowing charities were a couple of hundred quid better off was a gorgeous feeling.
“You can’t put it into words, it just made Christmas.
“Santa says he has loved going round seeing if the children were being good and thanks everybody over the years who have taken part.”
For everyone wishing to see Father Christmas, he will be making an appearance on Keech Hospice’s float from now until Christmas Eve. For more information visit www.keech.org.uk.
For further details about the Dunstable and District Round Table, visit http://www.dunstable.roundtable.co.uk.