5 December 2023

Santa arrives in style

By Terry Bearpark

Traditionally, Father Christmas arrives in a sleigh pulled by reindeer.

Occasionally, he resorts to other means of transport – but on Tuesday evening he arrived in Withernsea driving a massive red recovery truck.

The Withernsea Christmas Santa Truck Drive Through was the idea of local couple Jonathan and Lesley Shakoor who decided to stage their own version of the Christmas Coca-Cola lorry by using the 22-year- old Kenworth recovery truck with its mighty 15-litre, 630 HP Caterpillar engine, normally used for recovering broken-down fully loaded articulated lorries, buses and other heavy vehicles.

After an appeal for donations of sweets, a huge response saw them packing more than 500 bags to give out to children, and the task was made easier thanks to friends Carol and Rob Banks and Maxine Elliott and family.

The truck, suitably decorated with Christmas lights, departed from Hollym, and drove around Withernsea before parking up next to Ellis’ café in Seaside Road where hundreds of eager children and their parents had already formed.

The Christmases, along with the Good Elf Maxine, handed out some 340 bags of sweets to local youngsters who were fascinated by the unusual festive transport. The bags left over were donated to the Carnival Christmas parties and also the Queen’s Residential Home.

Well-wishers also donated more than £54 towards next year’s drive-through.

Lesley Shakoor said: “What a wonderful response we have had. It has really been well worth all the hard work and a pleasure to see so many happy children.”

She also tendered thanks to all those who helped with the event, especially Sparrow Recovery (Yorkshire), which provided the truck and all the fuel, James and Luke Sparrow, Gemma Hughes, PMR Car Repairs, Waxholme Trading Park, The Premier Shop, YKK Martial Arts, Tesco, and Ellis’ Café.