Co-op sleigh ride’s new home in Coventry museum

Heart of England Co-operative’s sleigh ride, which has entertained children in Coventry for nearly 60 years, has found a new home. The ride, which has been a permanent fixture...

Heart of England Co-operative’s sleigh ride, which has entertained children in Coventry for nearly 60 years, has found a new home.

The ride, which has been a permanent fixture in the Society’s Corporation Street store since 1956, has been relocated to Coventry Transport Museum, in Millennium Place, city centre. This follows the announced closure of the store this summer as part of the society’s phased closure of all its non-retail stores.

Led by Santa and his reindeer, the ride creates the illusion of being flown through the air to Lapland, where children are then greeted by Santa in his grotto.

“The sleigh ride is a much loved institution in Coventry, allowing three generations of children to experience the magic of Lapland over the past 59 years,” said Ali Kurji, Heart of England chief executive. “It is a true asset to Coventry and one which we wanted to see remain in the city for future generations.”

“It is a prime example of Coventry’s heritage so we are delighted that it has found a new home at Coventry Transport Museum, alongside their fantastic collection of historic British Road Transport.”

The donation of the ride will be marked with a commemorative plaque inside the museum.

Gary Hall, chief executive of Culture Coventry, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Culture Coventry are the new custodians of the Co-op sleigh ride.

“For so many years, families have enjoyed the magic and the tradition that it brings. It conjures up many happy memories of Christmas times spent with loved ones, and it seems only fitting that Culture Coventry, who look after so many of the city’s much loved treasures, should find a home for this wonderful piece of Coventry history.”

“We realise how important the sleigh is for thousands of people across Coventry and Warwickshire and we feel privileged and delighted to announce that visitors will be able to enjoy this much loved local treasure at Coventry Transport Museum this Christmas,” added Mr Hall.

  • The ride opened on 19 November 2015 and runs until 23 December. Rides are £5 for children / £1 for an accompanying adult (cash only). For further details, visit www.transport-museum.com.
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