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Southwell Toy Run for Salvation Army expected to go ahead, with coronavirus precautions

Santa will ride again this Christmas, but under the rule of six.

This isn’t a reference to his reindeer, but the many bikers who take part in the Santa Southwell Toy Run, taking place on Sunday, December 6.

Organiser John J. Judson said: “In a difficult year when joy has been hard to find, and nearly everything seems to have been cancelled, I have sought to find a safe way for our event to go ahead, so that the children who benefit from our gifts can have a smile and some Christmas cheer.

Motorbike riders assemble in Southwell Market Place ahead of last year's toy run. (42754494)
Motorbike riders assemble in Southwell Market Place ahead of last year's toy run. (42754494)

The toy run sees riders heading to the Salvation Army at Balderton carrying Christmas gifts for needy and underprivileged youngsters.

“The Salvation Army feels the same way,” said John. “So, after consulting with them and with Nottinghamshire Police events’ officer, we have arrived at a plan that should work.

“The key factor is that riders are asked specifically not to congregate in groups bigger than six.”

The Salvation Army will be available at their Mead Way headquarters from 11am until noon to receive donated gifts and will have staff there to ensure social distancing.

Riders should arrive between those times and can go there straight from home or they can start by riding from Southwell as usual.

At Southwell there will be takeaway refreshments from The Wheatsheaf, but to avoid crowding, these will be available from 10.30am until 11.30am; then a 30-minute ride to the church.

“So, no mass gathering, and no cav- alcade ride off. Participants will set off in small groups or singly, so our loyal supporters will have more time to enjoy the fancy dress,” said John.

“So please support our riders and give them a cheery wave.

“As you will appreciate, if the national rules change then I have to think again. I have to check with police a week or so before the run, so feel free to check in early December.”

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