Minehead Santa's grotto fell victim to the floods

PHIL Winter cleans up at the centre’s Christmas attraction. PHOTO: Steve Guscott

PHIL Winter cleans up at the centre’s Christmas attraction. PHOTO: Steve Guscott

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

PLUCKY staff at West Somerset Garden Centre in Minehead are determined the floods will not spoil their young customers’ festive fun.

The venue escaped unscathed from the weekend rain, bar one building where its Santa’s grotto was housed.

Fiona Johnson, shop manageress, said: “We’ve had to take it all apart. It was quite heart-rending because the lads have put a lot of work into it.

“There were almost life-sized reindeer inside their home, artificial snow on the ground and various other bits in our Christmas garden. We just couldn’t believe it.

“It all has to be re-built by Saturday now and it took a fortnight to build in the first place.

“All the water has been swept and mopped up now, and nearly all the material has dried, so as long as it doesn’t happen again we should be able to start re-building it.

“We’re certain the grotto will be up and running by the weekend as planned.

“The main shop and buildings containing stock were all OK, luckily. It could have been worse.”

All being well, Mother or Father Christmas will greet children at the centre’s hastily re-built Christmas garden between 10am and 4pm this Saturday and Sunday, and the following weekend.

Crafts, food and entertainment will also be on offer during its Christmas market on December 8.

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