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Santa's sleigh ride at risk after thieves steal Paddock Wood Lions Club generator

Some Grinch has threatened Christmas.

Every year the Paddock Wood Lions tour the town with the Santa Sleigh handing out presents to the children.

The Lions Santa from a previous Christmas
The Lions Santa from a previous Christmas

But this year's festivities have been put at risk after thieves broke in and stole the Lions' generator.

The generator is used to power the illuminations on the sleigh and to play the cheery music over the loudspeakers that tells the kids when to come out.

Rod Easter, a Lions member for 11 years, said: "It's a bit of a blow.

"As we go round we knock on doors with our buckets and its one of our two biggest fund-raising events of the year. The other is the annual carnival, which of course we have already had to cancel because of Covid.

"The sleigh had become a bit tired over the years, one Santa even fell through the floor, but this year we have had it renovated at a cost of around £2,000 - so this theft is a double blow."

The town's children look foward to the visit from Father Christmas
The town's children look foward to the visit from Father Christmas

The generator was stolen from a shed at the allotments next to the Memorial Field on Maidstone Road, sometime between October 1 and October 3, with the thieves using bolt-cutters to crop off the lock. The petrol driven Honda generator had cost £900 when new four years ago.

Mr Easter said: "We are trying to claim the money back from our insurers, but it is not clear that they are going to agree."
He said: "It's terrible that anybody should do this.

"This could leave a lot of disappointed kids this year just when we could all do with a bit of happiness in these dire times."

If you are able to assist the Lions find a replacement generator, please email Mr Easter on rodneyeaster@btinternet.com

The sawn-off hasp (42662047)
The sawn-off hasp (42662047)

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