HUNDREDS of people stood patiently as Santa arrived in Snape Maltings by barge yesterday to visit children in his grotto.

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The annual event drew the crowds at the tourist destination near the Suffolk coast.

Events manager Nikki Gilbert said: “It was fantastic. He came down on the barge and came into his grotto and spoke to all the children.

“The turnout was absolutely brilliant, lots of little children, from really little tots up to nine-year-olds.

“People were waiting on both sides of the river and down the footpath, it was beautiful.”

Santa could be seen on the barge 10 minutes before arriving at the quayside.

Music on the day was provided by the Martlesham Brass Band and a group of choir singers.

The event, which has been going for more than 20 years, raised money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

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