Santa makes early stop off in Sunderland

The summer sun is still shining but this giant Santa is making an early appearance at The Cavalier public house at Gilley Law. Alongside the giant inflatable are new owners Phil Jeffries and Craig Bewick.
The summer sun is still shining but this giant Santa is making an early appearance at The Cavalier public house at Gilley Law. Alongside the giant inflatable are new owners Phil Jeffries and Craig Bewick.
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YOU’D better watch out – Santa Claus is already in town as he helps front up a charity drive.

Seasonal spirit has come early to The Cavalier in New Silksworth with the arrival of a giant Father Christmas.

Business partners Phil Jeffries and Craig Bewick, who have taken over the business, plan on transforming the bar and restaurant into a fund-raising winter wonderland in the run-up to December 25.

Standing a ‘ho-ho-huge’ 35ft high, the inflatable Father Christmas will take up a place in the pub’s large beer garden and playground.

Visitors to the pub – formerly the Hunter’s Lodge – will be asked to make donations to a charity, which will be decided on as the nights draw in.

A team of four was drafted in to fill the inflatable.

Phil said: “The pub is going to be all lit up for the kids, as the council has stopped doing the Christmas illuminations. We are going to collect money and donate it to homeless kids.

“I think it is the biggest Santa in the North East – maybe the country – and if anyone gets bigger then I will get a bigger one.”

Phil, who said he has spent thousands on seasonal decorations for his new business venture, also plans on creating a Christmas grotto and lighting up the garden with twinkling bulbs.

As well as welcoming Santa, The Cavalier, which was relaunched three months ago, has created 28 part and full-time jobs, including five chefs.