Santa took the unusual step of calling Rye News on Thursday evening [November 20] to say he hadn’t been sacked, writes Tony Nunn. That had been the rumour, he agreed, but no, he’s still in the job. He sounded his old self, bouncy, a tad breathless and had an exclusive for us: the date of Santa’s arrival in Rye this December has changed. He’ll be in town, driving round waving to kids from a soft top Roller. But on December 6, not December 13. So there you have it. Be there. Start 4pm. For the big procession through town. “After which the crowds will melt away into shops and restaurants, wine bars and pubs to spend their money,” Santa said. And would grateful traders be slipping him a bottle of something as he passes by? Santa’s reply, rather gruff, suggested that so far they hadn’t. How very remiss. What of December 13? “Must tell you,” said Santa, ” there’ll be another one landing that afternoon. By boat. On The Strand.” That’ll be you, I asked. “No, an Army chap.” That bit starts at 3pm. So there are two Santas. Don’t tell the kids. But thanks for the tip.