It is coming to that time of year again when the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling off the
trees, we are starting to see the shops selling Christmas decorations and Rotarians can be heard
hard at work, preparing the Christmas Float for another year, touring the towns and villages to
bring the wonder of Father Christmas with his brightly illuminated sleigh and the sounds of
Christmas hymns and songs to the children of North East Wales.
But behind the scenes, there’s an awful lot of work required to ensure the Float looks at its best
and everything works!
For the best part of a month each year the Float with its various teams of volunteers suffers the
vagaries of Welsh December weather, from hail and snow to driving rain and all this takes its toll on
not only the Float, but also the specialist four wheel drive dedicated towing vehicle, (not to mention
the Rotarians themselves!). Rotary President Malcolm Mellor commented that each year, after the
float finishes its touring just before Christmas Day, it languishes unloved in outbuildings kindly
provided by local farmer Edwin Hughes at Cornist Farm, just one of the many generous sponsors,
without whose support, the Christmas Float would not be possible.
Then October comes round and both Float and towing vehicle are inspected and a schedule of
repair, refurbishment and replacement works is prepared. Rotarian John Williams who has a well
known motor engineering business in Rhosesmor ensures the ageing Daihatsu towing vehicle is
serviced and MOT’d, an increasingly onerous duty in view of the age of the vehicle, whilst other
Rotarians with specialist skills or simply the ability to wield a paint brush give up many weekends to
ensure The Float looks at its best. Malcolm commented “all the members’ time is undertaken on an
entirely voluntary basis, however the additional costs of renewals and repair are significant and the
Club are this year asking for donations from the general public to ensure the future of this much
This year’s touring schedule, like last year, is somewhat reduced from previous years, due not only
to the reduced number of volunteers, but also ever increasing health and safety obligations,
although all the ever popular Static Town Centre events will remain.
Float organiser, Gordon Cook stated that he has arranged the touring schedule in such a way that
the Float can be seen by as many people as possible, although this does mean that, “Santa Stops”
are limited to fixed points only as advertised on the touring schedule.
The schedule will be found on the Rotary Club’s website when finalised.
If you wish to donate the details are provided below:
A/C Name: Rotary Club of Flint & Holywell Sort Code: 40 24 27 Account Number: 51159666