Santa and his elves pelted with eggs while collecting for children’s charity in Sunderland

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

12
Have your say

Charity champions say youngsters will miss out next year after a popular attraction was targeted by egg-throwing yobs.

The Puffing Billy train built by Ian Morrell is in its third year of touring the streets of Wearside, raising funds for the Children’s Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

However, organisers say they will have to change the route next year after the train was pelted with eggs by teenagers on bikes.

“We have had to take all the lights off the front of the engine and trying to clean eggs off the next day was a bit unpleasant,” said Ian’s daughter Jolene Brumby.

The teenagers struck as the train was going through Peat Carr, in Hetton, on Thursday night.

“It was a couple of kids on bikes – they obviously knew we were coming and had been looking out for us,” said Jolene.

It’s a shame the younger children will miss out because of the actions of a few older kids.

Jolene Brumby

The team missed out Peat Carr last year after similar problems 12 months earlier.

“This year we decided we would go back – now we are going to have to miss it out again next year,” said Jolene.

“It’s a shame the younger children will miss out because of the actions of a few older kids.”

The train has only been operating for a couple of years, but has already become a popular fixture.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

“The first year we did it we had about 500 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page,” added Jolene.

“Last year we had 2,500 and this year we’ve just gone over 9,000.

“There are people lining up outside their houses waiting for us to go past. It is just crazy.”

To find out where Puffing Billy will be for the rest of the week, visit facebook.com/puffingbillybooks

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.

Puffin Billy's driver Papa Elf Ian Morrell and Santa Paul Brumby.