Hundreds of families flocked to Burnham-On-Sea’s hovercraft station over weekend to see Father Christmas in his unique grotto.

Over 300 families headed to the BARB Search & Rescue station on Burnham’s seafront on Saturday and Sunday for the traditional grotto fun, where Santa greeted children and their families and handed out gifts.

Burnham and Highbridge’s Mayor and Mayoress, Bill and Frances Hancock, helped to open the grotto with Town Crier Alastair Murray and Deputy Mayor Cllr Andy Brewer on Saturday. The Town Council has made BARB one of its charities of the year for 2018-2019.

Caroline Hall, pictured above, the mum of the late Lelaina Hall who died in 2004 after getting stuck in mud on Berrow beach, was among the visitors with her family. Caroline has been a strong supporter of BARB over the years and Lelaina’s legacy is remembered in the name of BARB’s ‘Spirit of Lelaina 2’ rescue hovercraft.

Alongside the grotto, there was plenty of Christmas cheer and festive fun, with seasonal stalls set up inside the hovercraft station on both days.

All funds going towards BARB Search & Rescue’s life-saving work along Burnham’s coastline with its hovercraft and inshore rescue boats.

A BARB spokesman said: “We are very grateful to everyone who came along to support BARB during the weekend. This annual tradition is much-loved by many families in the Burnham area who pass on such positive feedback to our volunteers.”

Alongside scores of residents and families, those attending also included Burnham’s MP James Heappey with his family and former-MP Tessa Munt during the weekend.

BARB Search & Rescue has been operational for 26 years in Burnham-On-Sea. Its team of volunteers is on-call 24 hours a day. During 2018, the charity has been called out 49 times to incidents ranging from missing people searches to rescues of people stuck in mud.

Santa's grotto at BARB in Burnham