College and Cliff Railway Christmas Partnership

Babbacombe Cliff Railway has a fantastic Christmas planned for this year. Building on the success of previous Christmas events held at the Cliff Railway, member of staff, Sarah Foley, took on the task of organising this year’s activities and has all sorts of exciting things planned for the children.  The idea was to do something a bit different, giving the children that visit the chance to get creative and make something special to take home with them, as well as writing and posting their letter to Father Christmas.  As part of her plan she had a vision of a sleigh and reindeer to greet children as they arrived for a bit of Cliff Railway sparkle.

Needless to say, such accessories are in pretty big demand as the festive season draws near and when Sarah was put in touch with South Devon college lecturer Jonny Standing things started to look up.  Jonny said that his Carpentry Level 1 students would gladly take on the project and they set to work creating a magical reindeer and sleigh for the Cliff Railway to use.  Sarah said “I am thrilled with it. It’s even better than I imagined and the students have all worked so hard.  We’re really grateful to them all.”

Jonny said “The students really enjoyed working on the reindeer and sleigh.  It’s great for them to make something that they know will be used and enjoyed by others.  It’s also particularly nice to work within the community and I was over the moon with the way the students liaised with the Cliff Railway and managed the project from start to finish in their teams, working as an effective production line.  It’s amazing that they have only been on the carpentry course for ten weeks.”  The project inspired Jonny to offer the service to local schools and the students have now made 19 reindeer for various schools including Priory School, Coombe Pafford, Watcombe and Furzeham Primary with the schoolchildren painting them as part of a competition.

Carpentry students with the reindeer and sleigh

Once created the project was handed over to the Painting and Decorating department where Paul Robbins and his Level 1 students took on the job of painting and varnishing it.  The finished reindeer and sleigh will be unveiled on the first day of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway’s sparkling event on Sunday 8 December.  The event runs on the three Sundays in the lead up to Christmas on 8, 15 and 22 December from 10.30am to 2.30pm and there will be lots of fun and crafts down in the cosy Christmas Den on Oddicombe Beach.  Of course, the reindeer and sleigh will be in pride of place in the Top Station setting the scene as passengers board the Christmas Cliff Railway.  Tickets are just £5.95 per children (to include 1 adult) and a truly sparkling seaside Christmas experience is guaranteed.  Oh, and don’t forget your camera for some pictures of the children with the wonderful sleigh.  For more information visit