Carol Bus delights kids around Bath
Wrapped up warmly against the cold night air, a cluster of children and grown-ups stand outside a Twerton store awaiting the Carol Bus. They heard word that it passed The Centurion Pub some time ago, but still it's taking ages...
Finally, someone spies the Carol Bus coming in a different direction than expected down Newton Road. The children get bright-eyed to see a Santa figure walking ahead of the bus. The sound of Christmas carols drift towards everyone and the illuminated windows of the bus display scenes from the Nativity.
The Carol Bus is organised by St Philip and St James' Church in Odd Down, along with Twerton-Whiteway resident Jimbob Warman. Jimbob works out the routes for the bus to take, spreads the information on Facebook, and plays the role of Santa Claus. The Reverend Alan Bain from the Odd Down church drives the Carol Bus.
This year the bus went around Bath over three nights, covering parts of Weston, Oldfield Park, Southdown, Whiteway and Twerton. This was a new Carol Bus with a different appearance, replacing an older one that had reached the end of its life.
In Twerton and Whiteway, crowds of people wait to see the Carol Bus at various points like Rosewarn Close. The crowds slow down the bus on its journey as lots of children want to with meet Santa close up. Some of the older kids know that it's really Jimbob dressed up, but the little ones think it's the 'real Santa'.
The Carol Bus is also followed by volunteers carrying their collection buckets. This Christmas, all the money raised went to the church and the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.