KINVER Rotary Club’s traditional Christmas outings with Santa and his sleigh have been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Rotary club members came to the realisation a few weeks ago that house to house collections across Kinver, Enville, Wall Heath and Wollaston would not be able to take place this year but it had been hoped that Santa could make his usual Saturday appearance at the Aldi stores in Wollaston and Kingswinford and also pre-arranged two-hour evening visits to the KSCA car park.

These options, however, were discounted and even then Rotary members were investigating the possibility of organising a non-stop tour of the major roads of Kinver to give children the possibility of a glimpse of Santa.

But following consultations with the local authorities, Rotary’s own legal teams and the club members themselves – it has been reluctantly decided that Santa and his sleigh will not be venturing out this year.

Club president Arvind Sharma said: ”We are bitterly disappointed that we cannot do anything with the sleigh this year.

"A group of members had made all the preparations in the hope that we could stage this much-loved event in the run up to the festive season. But we had to make the difficult decision.

“Not only will we miss our house to house collections and supermarket visits, we will also not be taking part in other events such as Kinver’s late night shopping initiative and the official switch-on of the Christmas lights at Enville.

"But even bigger regrets are not being able to bring excitement and pleasure to hundreds of children – and adults – and the fact that we will not be able to distribute thousands of pounds between local charities.”

It will be the first time the annual festive outings have been completely cancelled since the club was formed and the sleigh was built 35 years ago.