ONE of the town’s proudest and most iconic stores rolled back the years on Saturday as Father Christmas arrived at his grotto in real style.

Tyrers department store started their festive shopping programme by welcoming Santa to their store.

He arrived, not by sleigh, but in a 1963 Leyland PD open top bus, that drove through the town centre from the North West Museum of Road Transport, on Hall Street, St Helens.

The bell–ringing Santa pulled in the crowds, with families massing outside the Bridge Street store while Parr Band provided the festive music.

Inside the store, Father Christmas took his place in the traditional grotto located on the lower ground floor.

Joanne Wagstaff, whose children Trudy (aged four) and Archie (nine months) from Eccleston Park, were the first to enter the grotto, said: “This is fantastic and a lovely experience for the children, who had a great time.

“There is a lot more events like this going on in the town centre and it is good to see.”

Ali Tyrer, boss of the store, said: “I think we created a little bit of magic. Bridge Street was full of families and there was a real sense of community. I think as many adults as children were delighted to see Father Christmas.”

YOU can order your grotto tickets in the menswear dept in Tyrers’ lower ground floor.