Christmas grotto arrives in Crowborough

Crowborough grotto Pic 2
Crowborough grotto Pic 2

A four-year-old Heathfield girl officially opened the Christmas grotto at a Crowborough garden centre last weekend. Lily Aird declared the grotto at Millbrook Garden Centre on Tubwell Lane in Jarvis Brook, open by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.

Daniel Hume, centre manager said: “We held a competition to search for a child to come and open our grotto and we selected Lily to be our VIP for the ceremony. Lily was nominated by her mum, Angela. Lily suffers from juvenile arthritis, which means she has difficulty walking and has had to undergo various treatments including cortisone injections and frequent blood tests.

“She is always very brave when receiving treatment and her medication is making her feel much better. We received nominations for lots of children and Lily was chosen randomly as our winner. We agree that she deserved a special day.”

Lily went along to the centre with her mum, Claire, and received four free passes to see Santa in his grotto.

Daniel added: “We are really pleased to welcome Father Christmas and his elves to our magical Millbrook grotto this year. Visitors will have an animated sleigh ride to meet Santa and will then arrive in an enchanted winter wonderland. There will be activities for children before meeting Father Christmas and receiving a gift from him.”

While he’s there, Father Christmas is asking children to help him name his two newest reindeer.

Daniel went on: “He tells us he’s resting Rudolph and the other reindeer between now and Christmas Eve so they are fresh and ready to pull his sleigh and help him deliver presents worldwide. But he needed help at the garden centre so he has asked these two, unnamed reindeer, to step in and lend a hoof. The pair will be at the centre from Saturday, December 8.

“Santa’s team of Christmas reindeer include Rudolph, Blitzen, Prancer, Dasher, Dancer, Comet, Cupid and Donner. He has told us he doesn’t want people to suggest these names for the two newcomers to his squad, instead he’s looking for quirky and unusual names that capture the imagination and the spirit of Christmas.”

The centre launches the ‘name our reindeer’ competition this weekend and it will run until December 12.

Entry forms are available at the garden centre or can be downloaded from the Millbrook website via Once completed they can be posted into the reindeer competition box in-store. Daniel continued: “The competition is open to all ages. The winner who suggests the two best names will receive a souvenir photograph with the reindeer and a free trip to see Father Christmas.”