Is it a bird? Is it a plane...? No – it’s Santa Claus in his red Comet!

Santa comes down to Shuttleworth
Santa comes down to Shuttleworth

Children gazing up at the Christmas skyline got a magic lesson in how Father Christmas gets about in a rush during a visit to Shuttleworth on Saturday.

That’s right – Santa himself swooped down to amaze crowds at the historic plane site – but gone were the familiar reindeer and Christmas sledge.

Santa in his red Comet

Santa in his red Comet

Instead, he came shuttling down to Shuttleworth in a classic Comet aircraft painted in stylish scarlet, much to the thrill of parents and children alike.

Events manager Kathryn Hale was delighted with how the day went. She said: “Christmas is a really special time of year and we wanted the children to enjoy something a little different.

“So we thought that flying Father Christmas in would be fun for the children and the adults too!”

And for once Santa got to enjoy being a passenger instead of sleigh driver, being flown in by Shuttleworth’s chief engineer Jean Michel Munn.

Children making crafts at the fair

Children making crafts at the fair

By the time of his arrival, children had already spent the morning taking part in a range of Christmas arts and crafts.

After landing, Father Christmas then joined his helpers in his Swiss Garden grotto within the fernery, where the Swiss Garden elves brought the children to see him.

Shuttleworth will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but will be open on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Families are also invited to the historical open day on December 27 to 28 to look behind the scenes and chat to the engineers. Visit www.shuttleworth.org for details.