PENSIONERS in the parish of Ipstones can look forward to an early Christmas present following a month of successful auctions organised by a group of community stalwarts.
Ipstones Frothblowers is a long standing charity group which raises funds by holding auctions at pubs in the parish during September and October.
The money raised then allows each retired person in the parish, which covers several villages, to receive a Christmas gift.
The Frothblowers have just completed a month of weekly Sunday night sales at four pubs in the parish, which has raised more than £4,000.
Around 360 pensioners in the parish can now look forward to a Christmas bonus of around £10 each in December.
Secretary Julie Riley said: “People have donated items from cakes to a parrot’s cage.
“All the pubs were full for the auctions, which not only benefits the fund but brings in trade for the publicans.
“Seeing all the pubs full was great and it still shows that people love a bargain.
“We are so pleased to have raised this large amount. This is a tradition which has been going on since the 1950s and is still very well received, even in the present difficult financial climate.
“The enthusiasm of the publicans and the people attending has been fabulous and shows that everyone wants the tradition to carry on.
“It has been a lot of hard work for committee members, but well worth it. Almost everything that has been donated has been sold.
“The money will now be distributed by committee members to every pensioner in the parish in December.
“After we have delivered the money we get many thank you letters.
“People who have moved into the parish are so shocked when we arrive with the Christmas donation as they have never heard of anything like it before.
“On behalf of the committee I would like to thank everyone who donated items and also to the pub landlords for their help.”
The sales have been held at The Fox and Goose, Foxt; and The Marquis, The Red Lion and The Sea Lion in Ipstones.
Items auctioned off including cakes, jams, fruit, vegetables, brica- brac, flowers and household goods.
The Frothblowers were formed more than 50 years ago following a flower and vegetable show at the former Red Lion pub at Ipstones Edge.
After the show, exhibitors did not know what to do with the items, so they were sold off to raise money.
Every year since the auctions have taken place at six pubs in the parish. However, two are now closed, leaving just the four auctions to raise the funding. However, despite the loss, 363 pensioners last Christmas each received £12.