Santa’s fun day started life way back as “Gifts Galore” another of Joan Boughton’s creations. In those days it was a market with a Christmas theme selling things that groups of villagers had made, typically as joint efforts. For most villagers however it was more to do with Santa visiting the village and the kids getting presents. We used to site Santa’s Grotto in the corner furthest from the door and the queue would be a family deep and go diagonally across the hall and gridlock the main door.
After this had run for a while a change crept over the village, everybody began to work far harder, employers became ever more demanding and time for making stuff eroded away. This did not kill the show however it prompted a rethink. Alongside the stalls selling stuff there had always been some games and they had always been a success. The games side was grown and the making of stuff replaced by letting local small businesses with ‘Christmassy’ products buy space but the cake stall marched on regardless. The queue problem was solved by issuing Santa tickets with numbers and calling in the numbers as Santa got through them.
A recent breakthrough was to realise that partly through small business credentials and partly the size of our orders we were able to get into a real toy warehouse and get real trade bulk prices. Now as we don’t make any profit on the toys no other grotto can touch us for quality and price.
In current times we go more for craft type stalls and the games have become ever more noisy and ambitious although the powered bash the rat game was a step too far, the rat got killed (it was Peter Johnson!)