FAMILIES on a Stratton street enjoyed a surprise visit from a grumpy green creature straight out of a Dr Seuss story

The Grinch travelled all the way from the mountains near Whoville and suddenly appeared in the garden of a Meadowcroft Road home earlier this week, attracting a lot of attention while dancing and giving out lollipops to children.

The garden has been transformed into a mini winter wonderland with a snow machine and festive music, with visiting hours for the seasonal tourist every evening between 6pm and 8pm.

Many youngsters have enjoyed meeting the famous face and taking photos, and although some children seemed a little spooked by the furry humanoid, they soon cheered up when offered sweets.

Dolly Goodman of Goodys Bakery helped organise the Grinch’s trip to the town. She said: “Some kids smile, some are a bit petrified. One little girl said The Grinch is her favourite Christmas film so she kept coming back.

“Mums and dads and grandparents get involved too. One lady hugged me and teared up as she said they had not been feeling very festive but seeing The Grinch had made their Christmas, which was lovely.

“It was quite an off-the-cuff idea but I’m glad it’s happened. The Grinch is having as much fun as the kids, and will definitely be back next year. It’s an opportunity to be silly and have a whale of a time.”

People living in the area have really appreciated Dolly’s efforts to spread some Christmas cheer during this difficult time.

Jolene Breslin said: “She is lifting up the Christmas spirit for the whole Stratton community, she’s a lovely woman and does so much for the area.

“After last year’s lockdowns, she’s putting a smile on children’s faces and supporting a good cause.

“My son Ronnie and his sister Ella loved seeing the Grinch, they said it was amazing.”

Each visitor donates as much or as little as they want to BEST: Be A Better You, which helps provide mentoring for young people aged 11 to 25 in different sports and activities like boxing and MMA to deter them from a life of crime. So far, more than £150 has been raised in just a few days.

Don Bryden manages the charity. He said: “Dolly has been absolutely fantastic, she’s a brilliant lady, she makes wonderful cakes and does an impressive amount of fundraising for BEST.”

The Grinch’s outfit came from Zamelia Design, who let it be used free of charge.