United Kingdom

Hundreds queue to see Santa at Hull garden centre

Hundreds of people have queued at a popular garden centre to meet Father Christmas - three months before the festive celebrations.

Customers at Brigg Garden Centre, North Lincolnshire, were seen lining up yesterday morning as Christmas came a bit too early. 

The store just outside of Hull is offering expectant parents and children the chance to meet the man himself as well as Mrs Claus after staff opened the doors to a winter wonderland on Saturday.

The early start to festivities comes as Britons fear Christmas could be ruined again by shortages of toys, turkeys and festive trees.

Customers at Brigg Garden Centre, North Lincolnshire, were seen lining up yesterday morning as Christmas came a bit too early

The store just outside of Hull is offering expectant parents and children the chance to meet the man himself as well as Mrs Claus after staff opened the doors to a winter wonderland on Saturday

From Christmas trees, lights, gifts, and even Santa-inspired crockery baskets, people have been filling their trollies with heaps of decorations.

Customers were seen queuing from one end of the store to another on Saturday morning.

It comes as the popular garden centre is open for 12 hours today. One staff member reported the car park was 'packed' from 8am.

Staff had to put out metal barriers for people to form an orderly queue outside at around 12 noon.

Customers can explore the 'must-see' Christmas displays until 8pm.

What's more, there is 20 per cent off on all decorations. 

To commemorate the opening, children can meet Santa Claus and Mrs Claus; the pair are walking around the store greeting customers and handing out sweets

Speaking about starting off the festive season, organiser Amy Stubbs said: 'We are all so excited for this festive season.

'Christmas is our favourite time of year here in Brigg Garden Centre - it is a truly spectacular experience and you don't want to miss it.'

There will also be a Santa's Grotto event coming to the centre in the run up to Christmas.

The jolly scenes come as fears loom that shortages could bite households in the run-up to Christmas. 

The classic Christmas dinner could be decimated, with turkey, pigs in blankets, potatoes and brussel sprouts all at risk. 

Speaking about starting off the festive season, organiser Amy Stubbs said: 'We are all so excited for this festive season'

Meanwhile, toys, vinyl and books could also experience shortages - with experts even warning of Christmas tree issues.  

Despite the government agreeing a deal to restart production at the CO2 plants, industry bodies have warned that consumers may still see a hike in food prices, particularly if the cost of carbon dioxide rises. 

The government's deal with CF Industries is only in place for three weeks - leading to fears that the issues could start up again in the run-up to the festive period.  

The boss of Tesco warned last night that shoppers are facing a five per cent hike in food prices amid the lorry driver and gas shortages.  

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