EAGER youngsters queued up with their parents to meet Santa as he opened the doors of his workshop at Ankerside Shopping Centre.
The fun was all part of the Tamworth centre’s monthly Mummy Mornings, with Christmas-themed activities lined up for children.
Santa will be back at the workshop today, Friday November 28 to Sunday November 30 and then every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December, plus Friday December 19 through to Christmas Eve, all 11am-3pm.
Ankerside Shopping centre administrator Lucy Harvey said: “It was lovely to see so many children meeting Santa today in the grotto, which the residents at Ankermoor Court sheltered accommodation helped us to decorate.
“The grotto here at Ankerside is always very popular – I’m sure there are plenty more children who can’t wait to meet him and tell him exactly what they are looking forward to receiving on Christmas Day.”
Youngsters are also invited to have breakfast with Santa at Druckers on Sunday December 14 and Sunday December 21, from 8.45am. Places, which have to be booked, cost £7.50 per child – adults go free.
Donations are already pouring in for the centre’s Operation Christmas, with presents for sick children and vulnerable families being left in the massive collection box outside the H Samuel store.
The appeal for donations of new toys and games for children up to the age of 14 plus toiletries runs until December 14. The donations will be divided between two charities – youngsters at Acorn Children’s Hospice plus vulnerable families supported by Pathways Project.
Tamworth Rotary Club will again be running its Tree of Lights stand alongside AB’s Coffee and Cakes Café at Ankerside. Over the coming weeks the tree will be adorned with stars bearing messages from people in memory of loved ones – from friends and family through to pets. The Tree of Light this year has been donated by H Gold & Sons Timber Merchants of Fazeley.
More than £10,000 has been raised in the past eight years by the club, thanks to donations for the Tree of Light. The money is divided between local and UK charities supported by the club – such as St Giles Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support, through to international campaigns on eradicating polio and bringing water to areas affected by drought.
Ankerside Shopping Centre is also backing the Shop Local initiative, encouraging people to support Tamworth’s retailers when heading out to pick up festive presents for family and friends. The centre is offering all-day free parking on December 6 and December 20 to help deliver a boost to the town’s businesses.
Sherry and mince pies on offer on Tuesday December 9 from noon to 1pm, while for last-minute shopping, stores will open late until 9pm on Monday December 22 and Tuesday December 23.