FATHER Christmas’ annual sleigh ride through the streets of Radcliffe – which saw him cover around 100 miles over 14 nights – has raised more money than ever before.

This year’s collection, organised by the Rotary Club of Radcliffe, fell on the 80th anniversary of the charitable group and raised almost £8,000.

More than 50 volunteers played Santa’s little helpers and Radcliffe Rotary Club president Jim Linihan thanked the town’s residents for their “wonderful response”.

The total balance raised was £7,867 – of which £2,518 was given directly to helper charities Radcliffe Bowling Club, Bury Ladies Football Club, Bury Hockey Club, Radcliffe Guides Association, Radcliffe Brass Band, the Inner Wheel Club, Bury Blind Society, Radcliffe Swimming Club and the Radcliffe ROC Group.

The remainder will be given without deductions to other charitable purposes chosen by the Rotary Club throughout the coming year. Mr Linihan said: “On our 80th anniversary in Radcliffe we raised just under £8,000 – a new record.

“Many local organisations have already benefited from the collection and many more will benefit during the coming year thanks to the ever-generous people of Radcliffe.

“Our thanks go to several local organisations who helped with the collection and to ASDA who allowed us to use their forecourt to collect during the Christmas period.

“I also thank the Radcliffe Times for their support and publicity of our work during the past year including publishing the sleigh calendar and routes.”

The Rotary Club of Radcliffe organised journeys through all areas of the town on weeknights between December 5 and December 23.

The brightly-lit sleigh, created from an old milk float and decked out in Christmas lights, is the only one of its kind in the whole of the borough with other clubs instead using a trailer.