8 December 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Santa Claus is the man who usually gives out the gifts at Christmastime.

But the North Pole’s most famous denizen has been on the receiving end of a very practical present courtesy of the members of the Monaghan Men’s Shed – one he can put to very efficient use when carrying out his duties in this locality come the night hours of Christmas Eve.

Santa has had restored to him the original sleigh used for his fondly remembered pre-Christmas visits to the children of the town in bygone decades.
The sleigh was originally constructed at Pump Entry off Dublin Street in Monaghan Town in 1948, and had its first outing at Christmas that year. It became an integral part of the activities organised by the Monaghan Town Christmas Tree Committee, head of which was the well-known local grocer and undertaker the late Jimmy Houston.

Mr Houston was a prime mover in many activities to benefit business and community life in Monaghan and he took particular pride and pleasure in the annual Christmas Tree event, which attracted widespread support from the local commercial sector.

The sleigh was Santa’s mode of conveyance during his pre-Christmas visits to the town up until six or seven years ago, when the format of the occasion changed.

The transport disappeared from public view and public consciousness for a time but it was recently rediscovered and a project was undertaken at the instigation of prominent Monaghan Rotarian and former Dublin Street resident David Drum, assisted by other businesspeople in the locality, to bring it back to its original splendour.

This task fell into the willing hands of the members of the Monaghan Men’s Shed, who devoted considerable hours to the loving and tasteful restoration work which has seen the sleigh refitted and repainted, and rendered eminently roadworthy once more.

The sleigh now resides in the care of the McCarra family of the Mullaghmore Equestrian Centre in Tydavnet.

But our younger readers can rest assured that come Christmas Eve it will be handed over to its rightful owner and used by him for the Monaghan leg of his global present distribution task.

Comments are closed.