New home needed for Santa’s sleigh

Worksop Lions Club are having to find new premises to store its Christmas sleigh and fundraising equipment to make way for the Creative Village.  Worksop Lions with staff and members of Valley Social Club. (w110105-5a)
Worksop Lions Club are having to find new premises to store its Christmas sleigh and fundraising equipment to make way for the Creative Village. Worksop Lions with staff and members of Valley Social Club. (w110105-5a)
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worksop Lions Club is urgently seeking a new home for its Christmas sleigh and fundraising equipment after losing its garage.

The club has been storing the equipment in a garage owned by Bassetlaw Council on Canal Road.

But club president Bill Maddison has been told he must find a new home for the equipment by 31st January as the council make way for its £1million Creative Village.

The council is restoring buildings between the canal and River Ryton, creating 15 new jobs.

“We have to be out by the end of the month,” said Bill.

“If we don’t have anywhere to go then next year the kids will miss out.”

The sleigh is used in the Christmas Collection when many local organisations and charities, such as the Valley Social Club, help collect money for the Lions Club. They receive cheques from the Lions Club for their help.

A main feature of the parade at the Christmas lights switch-on in Worksop is also the sleigh.

“We have charities collecting for us and they get money from us which helps to keep the charities going. What will they do if we can’t do the collections?” he added.

Bill negotiated an extension with the council over the festive period to allow him time to find a suitable garage.

The local authority found alternative premises but they were unsuitable for the sleigh.

“The council have been very generous and let us have the garage for free,” said Bill.

“The only premises they have now will cost between £2,000 and £3,000 a year and we can’t afford that.”

“At a push we could store the fundraising equipment, such as the gazebo, in our own garages but the sleigh is too big for an ordinary garage.”

“It will rot if it is left outside over winter.”

“The sleigh has a caravan base. Ideally we need a farm building or something like that.”

“We will work on the building and do it up if it needs it and will put our own stuff in.”

Bassetlaw District Council’s Property Manager John Unstead confirmed the Lions have to leave their premises by the end of the month.

“The Lions agreement ended at the end of November but we extended this to 31st January so they would be able to find a new home for their sleigh,” he said.

“Unfortunately the only premises the Council were able to offer were unsuitable due to a lack of vehicular access.”

It is hoped the Creative Village – due to be completed in February 2012 – will become a haven for industries such as craft workshops, graphic and fashion design and animation and video production studios.

The council will restore buildings such as the old fire station, carriage house and electricity works.

Anyone who thinks they can help in anyway should contact Bill on 01909 474332.