ALMOST 200 youngsters have made use of a special Father Christmas mail delivery service, courtesy of Newton Abbot Town Council.

The free ‘Write to Santa’ stall set up in the town centre as part of the festive lights switch-on day, Saturday November 25.

With plenty of cards, envelopes, pens, pencils and stickers to choose from, everyone from toddlers to teenagers took the opportunity to tell the great man what they hoped for from the yuletide season.

Many chose the latest toys and gadgets while others asked for nothing more than a cuddle or to spend time with their families.

The style of decorations was as varied and unique as the children themselves.

Kate Green, outreach worker with the town council, said: ‘The cards are beautifully illustrated with drawings and some very special messages.

‘The stall was busy right from the get go with almost 200 cards written to Santa.

‘We’re now sending them via our special North Pole delivery service and are working with the elves to ensure everyone gets a personal reply.

‘We hope everyone gets what they asked for, if they’ve been good of course.’

The stall wasn’t the only popular free attraction provided by the town council.

The neighbouring face painting and balloon modelling attracted large queues throughout the day.

Kate said: ’It’s great when families are facing tough financial times that we can provide some enjoyable free activities.

‘And don’t forget that between 10am and 2pm every second Saturday of each month we hold free Creative Newton Abbot craft and art activities in Courtenay Street.

‘There’s no need to book, just turn up and enjoy yourselves. Who knows what hidden inner creativity you might release?’