Big-hearted Mini fans go on a Santa cruise for Hull children
IT MIGHT look like a scene out of The Italian Job but the mission for these Mini drivers could not be more different.
Rather than a bunch of crooks racing through Turin, these kind-hearted motorists were driving through the streets of Hull picking up toys so disadvantaged children can have a gift this Christmas.
On Saturday, the Hull Mini Owners' Club helped deliver a Merry Christmas to thousands of children from the Hull and East Riding area.
About 25 Minis began their convoy at Princes Quay shopping centre in the city centre, collecting toys for Viking FM and Magic 1161's Cash For Kids, whose Mission Christmas appeal has already helped more than 4,500 children in the region.
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Many of the drivers were in fancy dress as elves, Santa and even a cyberman.
Sammi Acaster, of the Hull Mini Owners' Club, helped organise the event.
She said: "We have had Mini owners from Lincoln and even Nottinghamshire coming up to help.
"This is the first time we have done this and we are delighted to help.
"We put out an appeal on Facebook and got a fantastic response.
"I am happy and relieved so many turned up and there was a great camaraderie among everyone."
Tony Peregreen, of west Hull, is a member of the Hull Mini Owners' Club.
He said: "It's for a great cause and helps kids who normally don't get anything.
"Hopefully, we can make this a happy Christmas for them.
"We went round to various points picking up toys that have been donated by members of the public.
"It was a great atmosphere and we didn't expect such a good turnout.
Ken Briglin, of Preston, near Hedon, was relieved the weather was kind.
He said: "When you are driving cars that are 30 to 40 years old you can only hope they behave themselves.
"We have been planning this for a while and there's been a really good atmosphere."
Jamie Baxter came from Lincoln to take part.
Dressed up as a Cyberman from Dr Who, he said: "We have just launched the new Lincoln Imps Club and thought it would be really good to get involved in this.
"I work with children, so it is great to be able to support such a charity.
Sara Cook, of Beverley, drove her Mini dressed as an elf.
She said: "This is a worthwhile event and so enjoyable.
"Mini fanatics are always so much fun and, with the sun out, it was perfect. Minis really don't like the rain."
The convoy of Minis headed to the many drop-off points around East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire, collecting a total of 300 toys and gifts.
They were then delivered to the Viking FM and Magic 1161 studios for sorting, before being delivered to underprivileged children from the region.
Cash For Kids manager Claire Taylor said: "There were a couple of breakdowns on the way over but luckily the weather held for us.
"This is the first time we have had help from Hull Mini Owners' Club and they have come from all over the country to help."