This week's blog has a charity focus - we mention the Sprechen commitment to the local community every so often, but the efforts of the Winchester Round Table (Steve included) deserve particular mention today. Toil and strife doesn't quite cover the hours they have spent bringing Christmas to Winchester.
Shortly after the 2014 Winchester Bonfire and Fireworks, Steve and other Round-Tablers were enjoying a well-earned beer in a Winchester hostelry when it was suggested that a Santa Sleigh might be a good idea. Why not utilise the collective skills and contacts of those present to source, renovate and operate a vehicle that could tour the streets of Winchester throughout December, giving out sweets and Christmas cheer to local children whilst accepting charitable donations from the public? Well for one thing it was far too late to begin the project for that year, and to be honest, most people said it wouldn't work.
So fast forward a year, and what have these chaps been up to? Yes, you've guessed it - making a Santa Sleigh. The run-up to Christmas is a busy time for us here in the office, so this is a project that has eaten into the precious little spare time of our head honcho, but it hasn't been an easy project. The 'sleigh' is actually a milk float from Leicester, so transforming it into a mobile festive fundraiser has involved building a one-of-a-kind body kit and procuring seats, seat belts, fairy lights, life-sized plastic reindeer and road-legal lights.
The sleigh has been dragged down from Leicester and around Hampshire on a trailer to be worked on, has been dropped in a hole in Winchester bus station (and thankfully winched back out),before final road testing prior to starring role on BBC One's 'The One Show' for the Winchester Christmas lights switch-on extravaganza!
This week has seen a visit from a crack team of milk-float engineers (yup, they really do exist) to shed light on some tricky electrical issues, and the sleigh is ready to go. It's been a privilege to follow the progress of a project that has brought so many people together for charity and that will put a huge smile of the faces of local children this Christmas.
Keep your eyes peeled for the Winchester Santa Sleigh website which will have details of all the routes and dates you need!