Part of Your Community

Local News

It's a magical scene, a sure fire sign that Christmas really has arrived.

Bookmark & Share

New Horizons Goyt Mill Marple Social and Forces Club Peter Sharp

Along the canal side, you can sense the excitement and anticipation among the gathering crowds as New Horizons narrowboat, glowing in the darkness of a December night, glides along the water from Goyt Mill to the Social and Forces Club on Limekiln Lane with a very special guest on board.

Little ones watching and waiting with mums, dads, grandmas and granddads are always thrilled to catch their first glimpse of Santa and give him a cheer.

The waterway welcome party will be out in force once again on Friday December 7, having grown from modest beginnings ten years ago to become one of Marple's main events of the festive season.

The evening gets underway at 6.30pm when the boat will 'light up' just beyond Church Lane (Bridge 2 near The Ring O Bells pub) on the Macclesfield Canal, giving the signal that Santa is on his way.

Peter Sharp, the New Horizons skipper, not only steers the boat, but also spends time beforehand festooning it with bright lights and adding a model train, roundabout and helicopter to decorate the roof. Also on board will be Santa's little helpers, two young volunteers with the charity.

"When we first started, it was really our thank you to the Marple community for their support during the year, but since then, it has snowballed into something much bigger which so many people now look forward to seeing." says Peter. "Bridge 2 is the first vantage point where they gather to see Santa and then follow the boat to Bridge 1 near the locks and the point where the Macclesfield canal ends and becomes the Peak Forest Canal." 

Safety is paramount throughout the evening for the organising team. You are advised to bring a torch as some of the paths are quite dark. Please bear in mind that Bridge 2 is a road bridge and pedestrians need to be aware of traffic. The route also involves towpaths and lock sides. Parents need to be responsible for their children at all times. Marshals are on hand to guide you and St John Ambulance first aiders will also be attending.

The boat is expected alongside the Social Club by 7pm.  Hazel Grove Brass Band will be there to greet Santa with a group of carollers adding to the Yuletide atmosphere. Sweets and glow sticks will be given out to the children and there will also be a lucky dip. Hot drinks and refreshments are available and the club bar will be open from 6.30pm.

Santa will be in his grotto from the boat arriving until 8.30pm and the event will end no later than 9pm.

There will be no public access to the canal side at the social club and no parking on the club car park for non-permit holders.

The event, supported by Marple Area Committee, is free to attend but there will be collecting buckets on the route and at the club to help cover costs. 

The organisers reserve the right to cancel if the weather becomes an issue.