Garden centre Santa saves the day in North Derbyshire

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A Christmas crisis has been averted at a North Derbyshire garden centre thanks to social media.

Ferndale Garden Centre had been left without a Father Christmas as its resident Santa phoned in sick.

The jolly man in the red suit was awaiting a foot operation and was unable to sleigh his way into the centre – so the staff put out an appeal on Facebook and in The Star.

At the time, Helen Watson, center director, said: “Santa will definitely be fit by Christmas Eve, but in the meantime we are stuck without one of our favourite Christmas events. We need a miracle.”

Thankfully, Father Christmas has plenty of Facebook friends and one stepped forward to save the day.

A ‘close relative’ of the man himself has swooped in to bring some festive magic to the children visiting the garden centre in Coal Aston.

Helen said: “This is our 30th year of creating that special Ferndale Christmas feeling for children and frankly, we were feeling a little elf-less without Santa.

“Miraculously, he is now back in the centre and already we have had record numbers of children excited to meet him.”

The centre is open from 9am to 5.30pm today and tomorrow, and 9am to 3.30pm on Christmas Eve.

n Visit the website at or call 01246 412763 for more information.