Quick post to Santa from Littlehampton’s Flower Bowl to the North Pole

Jane Weller, Santa's official Littlehampton post mistress...
Jane Weller, Santa's official Littlehampton post mistress...

Last Saturday morning I reluctantly walked into town. It was raining, dark grey and the wind cold, shoppers were not smiling and the whole scene was bleak.

I was about to add my own miseries to the burdens of others when I heard the sound of distant drums. Boom, boom, boom. I followed the sound and found a group of elves and Santa Claus bashing and banging away under the town clock.

| From our other columnists – Pulborough primary school pupil wins Christmas card competition; Brilliant Christmas carols and concerts in Littlehampton; and A heart, half a cloak and the dues |

Big drums, little drums and the drummers, led by a Santa with a whistle and rubber legs, rocking from side to side. And there were appreciative smiles and applause from the watchers sheltering in Sainsbury’s porch or just standing and tapping their feet in the drizzle.

Tyndall Jones was there in a flash rattling his charity bucket and I could see he was being substantially rewarded for his efforts. I believe they were called Celebration Samba, a Worthing-based group with some Littlehampton members.

Smiling faces all round, an uplifting sight on a miserable uninspiring, grey Saturday morning. Walk up our High Street any time of the day, you just never know what you might find, the good, the bad and the downright ugly but this was a sight and sound for sore eyes. Thank you, drummers all.

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RAT runs are, by any definition, merely time saving short cuts, and we all use them at one time or another on our busy and often congested highways.

It goes without saying really that those who use the so-called runs are ‘rat runners’ which, viewed in any light, is a rather derogatory term.

The choice between a 15-minute exhaust polluting drive from the A259 Toddington Lane turn off and awaiting long delays at the dodgy Morrisons roundabout and maybe the same again at the Lyminster Crossing followed by the traffic blocking an equally dodgy right turn to Arundel or the recycling centre, is a no brainer.

The need for the ‘run’ is not the fault of the driver but the initial planning and the long delays in implementing any improvement. Rather than building wider and more roads at great cost of the environment by tree felling and destroying grass verges, I would be happier if we had a reliable, cheaper public transport system and were less reliant on motorcars and rat runs that are so tempting.

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JUST about enough time to for the children (and adults?) to get a quick missive off to Santa. The owner of the Flower Bowl in the Arcade, Jane Weller, has a post box in the shop and a quick first class signed for service to the North Pole.

I have put my request in and, although it is too large for the chimney, I told him I am leaving the side gate open and to pop it in the shed.

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AND that’s it for this year, back in a couple of weeks with some more groans, grumps and accolades for our super town and lovely county. Thanks for your letters, support and for reading the column.

The Gazette is your paper and remember, like your High Street, you use it or lose it.

Happy holiday and new year.

• If you would like to get in touch with Whispering Smith, please email: whisperingsmith1@gmail.com

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