Santa's Tinsel Trail from Woburn - Sunday 5th December 2021

A common theme amongst LDWA Challenge or Social Walks names is the use of alliteration. You might be wondering why the Tinsel Trail started from a place beginning with a “Wa”, It was originally going to be from Tring but I couldn’t work a route in time. To be safe I reverted back to Woburn where the first Santa walk was held in 2004 and since then has become an instant tradition. This was the 18th such walk and Santa has made a gap in his diary each year to ensure he attends even to the point of driving in between churches.

He was running a bit late this year for reasons that shall remain nameless and screeched into Woburn Car Park accompanied by his carer Steve Jenkins with a few minutes to spare before the start at 0900. He gathered all of his little band around him and after making sure that everyone had been good and had supplied a present for the Secret Santa. 21 of his elves and little helpers had turned up, several of whom were Santa Walks virgins. But not for much longer!

The merry band set off through Woburn Park heading towards the Abbey stopping along the way to feed a merry old soul who was sat in his SUV until 5 pm. We never found out why but he appreciated one of the sweets being carried around by Santa’s Chief ‘Elf & Safety advisor Dee Brockway. I don’t know what he thought of Ian’s chicken hat!

We approached our first church in Eversholt to the sound of church bells a swungen. By the time we arrived there they’d stopped and we belted out Good King Wenscelas. At least this time we were not asked to stop singing by a church warden as we were one year. We’ve obviously improved or was it that no-one was in the church? I’ll let you decide.

From there we set out to the 2nd church which is the deserted one at Segenhoe, Ridgmont . We met a few people along the way walking their dogs. They did say we were not a sight they expected to see but we brought a smile to their faces. Along the way we did pick up several window boxes of mud on our feet. At one point Therese Jamin did say “Thank you Santa for that” Well I think that’s what she said… We arrived for our first tea break of the day and second carol, Silent Night. Some cruel people having heard us sing have suggested that we hum the silent version of Silent Night but I don’t listen to them

After a short respite we left in high spirits (and a bit of rain) and crossed the M1 waving at the cars and truckers below. We crossed the A507 near a lovely thatched cottage and then to Boughton End Farm where on one of the recces Steve and I had seen some pheasants being beaten. I think at the end some of them were well and truly plucked!

It was a long trek heading back towards the M1 which we re-crossed on a bridge which turned out to be surprisingly slippery. After waving at more truckers on the way back we acquired yet more window boxes of soil before going back onto the B5704 which took us to the 3rd church at Husborne Crawley. This was the 2nd stop of the day and we had to earn our suppers by singing Ding Dong Merrily on High.

I think for this one Vicky Owen holds the record for the longest Gloria before the Hosanna in Excelsis. I’m still not sure whether there are one or 2 verses of that line but people were gasping for breath at the end so one was enough.

Suitably refreshed we set off but not before Merrian reminded Santa to make sure that he had all of his boys and girls with him which thankfully he did. Bad Santa and good Merrian

After an hour or so we reached Woburn High Street for our final carol of the day which was Hark the Herald Angels sing. From there it was a return to the cars to choose our Secret Santa’s and share in the 20 mince pies and 2 litres of mulled wine. According to Merrian it’s been so diluted there was not much alcohol left.

After that it was a walk at first to The Black Horse in Woburn High Street. At this inn there was no room for all of us but not before Steve and Pearl had made themselves comfortable. From there we found another manger namely The Bell where a few jars of Old Speckled Hen and London Pride were consumed before we all said our goodbyes until the next year

As normal, check out the photos on the Facebook page.