Santa Claus visits South Shields on charity mission

Santa Claus paid an early visit to South Shields on a charity mission.

Sunday, 17th November 2019, 1:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 17th November 2019, 3:35 pm
The real Santa Claus (friend of organiser Rob Seales) and helpers who rode through South Shields to raise £330 for a food bank, seen here before they set off.

The man who does so much for Christmas was on his motorbike as his sleigh was being serviced. He was joined by five of his ‘reindeer’ and members of local motorbike group Brothers From Other Mothers, who helped with traffic.

Children were delighted to meet up with their hero, who they could tell was the real deal by his genuine beard.

Santa and his team’s collection raised £330 for Hebburn Helps, a community food bank and crisis response unit serving South Tyneside.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Real Santa Claus (friend of organiser Rob Seales) and helpers in Simonside, meeting young people who have all promised to be good.

They started out at Tesco in Simonside, then onto Morrisons on Coston Drive and into the town centre, drawing many looks as they went.

Helping the big man was his very, very good friend and dad of two Rob Seales, 50. By coincidence Rob also owns a Suzuki Volusia like Santa’s and has a genuine beard which he has been growing since January.

Rob, a technical support analyst from Tyne Dock, said: “It went fantastically well. When I was a kid my parents did as much as they could for me at Christmas. This is about getting that magic back and believing in Santa.

“The kids we met absolutely loved it. They could see that it wasn’t a fake beard. One little girl in King Street was so star-struck that she couldn’t speak.”

The Real Santa Claus (a friend of Rob Seales) met admirers at Simonside.

Santa has also been making video calls as well as calling at the homes of good children. He is almost fully booked until Christmas Day when he will have a well-earned rest.

Rob said: “It’s magical to see a child when they get a call from Santa.”

After leaving South Shields the festive convoy of 10 bikes and a car made its way down the A19 to Billingham for another fundraiser.

Rob added: “It was fantastic and certainly a lot of fun. Rudolph was at the front and there were people videoing us on the way down.”

In an exclusive interview with the Gazette, Santa himself said to all children: “Be good, listen to your parents, do your homework and I’ll see you soon.”