Santa’s Sleigh Repair Proves A “Roar-some” Success

FATHER CHRISTMAS will once again travel in style this festive season thanks to the handy work of trade skills students at Stockton Riverside College and NETA Training.

The teams stepped up to the ultimate challenge when Santa’s sleigh arrived in the workshop for a revamp. “The sleigh was originally built in 2011 by students at the college for Stokesley Round Table,” said Alan Geddes, events and fundraising co-ordinator at MFC Foundation.  Since then, it has been helping to spread Christmas cheer across Teesside.  

Now with the sleigh in the care of MFC Foundation, in the run up to the big night, Alan explained: “It seemed fitting to have the chance to bring it back to the college for a much-needed refresh.” Electrical engineers at NETA serviced the electrics, Stockton’s joinery team carried out repairs, while painting and decorating students gave it a fresh coat of paint. Stockton’s painting and decorating teacher, Tony Ferguson, said: “A refresh of the reindeer on the front, and a sprinkle of pixie dust, will now see it continue its role for years to come.” Of seeing the sleigh return to the college, he said: “We have loved having it back after all this time and to hear about the epic journey it has been on. “This is a fantastic project for our students to be able to work on and to see the difference they can make by helping out in the community.”

NETA Training’s interim managing director, Sean Johnston, added: “Our team was happy to lend a hand and to know that we are playing our small part in creating some festive magic.” Middlesbrough FC mascot Roary paid a VIP visit to the college on behalf of Father Christmas, and he gave the students’ work a resounding thumbs up. Alan said: “We all know that Santa is a Boro Fan – you just need to look at his colours!  Now his sleigh has been well and truly “Boro-fied”. “We are amazed and overwhelmed by the work the students have carried out, we never expected it to look this good. The sleigh has been given a whole new lease of life.”

Plans are for the sleigh to get out and about across Teesside on the run up to Christmas.