South West Wales

Swansea's Santa sleigh fails MOT

Santa's sleigh in Swansea Image copyright Media Wales
Image caption The sleigh was pulled around the streets of Swansea by a tractor rather than reindeers

A sleigh used to take Father Christmas around festivities in Swansea over the last 30 years has failed its MOT.

After being the centrepiece in dozens of parades for different community groups, its chassis is rusting and it may end up on the scrapheap.

It will not feature in Swansea's Christmas lights switch-on this year and will not be available to rent.

Swansea council, which owns it, said it was instead offering its land train for Father Christmas to use.

Wyn Morgan, Penllergaer Community Council chairman, said he was disappointed that they were not given much warning that they would need to find a replacement.

"We have been paying £450 per year for the use of it, in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn't take more than £1,000 to replace it," he said.

"We don't have much choice about using the land train this year, do we? But I hope the city council considers replacing it in time for next year."

Image copyright Swansea council
Image caption Father Christmas' new wheels - a more common sight along the seafront in summer

The Swansea Bay land train and a carriage, which usually travels between Blackpill and Mumbles promenade in the summer, can be used instead.

It will be decorated to look like the Polar Express train and will be used for Swansea's Christmas lights switch-on and parade on 19 November.

A council spokesman said: "After being used in dozens of Christmas parades over the last 30 years, our Father Christmas sleigh is now beyond repair.

"So, this year, we're offering community councils and other organisations the chance for Santa to feature at their parades in a Christmas-themed carriage that usually forms part of the Swansea Bay Rider Land Train.

"A number of organisations have already made bookings."

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