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Romford's longest running Christmas grotto to open today at the Mercury Mall

PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:10 08 November 2017

Santa Claus, his helper Ian Courtier and the star of Queen's Theate's upcoming Beauty and the Beast production. Picture: Hayley Anderson

Santa Claus, his helper Ian Courtier and the star of Queen's Theate's upcoming Beauty and the Beast production. Picture: Hayley Anderson

Hayley Anderson

Romford's youngsters can officially start getting into the Christmas spirit today, as the town's longest standing Santa's Grotto officially opens once more.

Now more than 15 years old, the grotto at the Mercury Mall will officially open at midday today at a star-studded reception with none other than St Nick himself.

Actors from this year’s Queen’s Theatre’s pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, will be joining Father Christmas and his friends to mark the auspicious occasion.

From tomorrow onwards, the Magical Igloo will then be open daily between 10am and 5pm every Monday - Saturday until Christmas Eve and open Sunday 11am-4pm with an hour’s break for lunch from 1pm.

Spencer Hawken, Mercury Mall manager, said: “Children love visiting Santa to receive an early gift.

“It is also nice to know that we have been delighting local children for so long.”

For £3.99, children can visit Santa and receive a gift, and for £5.99, they can also have their photo taken with the old chap and receive a present.

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