FIREFIGHTERS and volunteers delighted families as they took Santa on a tour of Westlea on a fire engine to greet excited children.

Father Christmas was perched on an aerial platform over the vintage vehicle as four uniformed firefighters with half a dozen volunteers and friends travelled through the streets.

The two crews raised more than £550 for the Firefighters’ Charity in one three-hour lap of the area.

Gareth Challinor, crew manager for Westlea Fire Station, said: “It was really good fun, the kids always love it and people look forward to it.

“Giving chocolates out and having a sing-song gets everyone into the Christmas spirit and it’s great to engage with the community so much through events like this.

“Loads of people came out to see us and they were very kind and fantastically generous with their donations, so it was a very successful evening.

“The Firefighters’ Charity supports us so it’s only right that we do our bit.

“It was very nice to see so many familiar faces and new families on our journey.”

The firefighters’ Santa run is a long-standing and popular festive tradition in Swindon which goes back more than 20 years.

The team will embark on two more Santa runs before Christmas – one around Eastleaze and Shaw on December 14, and another around Peatmoor and Sparcells on the 19th.