As Santa approached to collect his sleigh
He looked down on Ashbourne ahead of his day
At Shentons they’d serviced the tinselly sled
He’d rejected some camels for reindeer instead.
Soon he’d be off for a tour of the land
Gifts for the good delivered by hand.
Nothing for Whitehall, and scarcely in Notts
Hardly a token for rebellious Scots
And so he returned just as evening fell
To only the sound of St Oswalds bell.
He opened his sack to look at the list
After all crossing-out to see who he’d missed.
Derbyshire Dales had a line through the middle
Their planning remains a bit of a riddle.
His elves bemoaned an impending sight
400 more homes to deliver tonight?
If he went with his sled to the Thursday market
He’d travel around with nowhere to park it.
And even on Shawcroft at the end of a queue
You can’t get a coffee but can get a loo
But as he looked through his list for the good
He noticed the signs of a planned Neighbourhood.
For during the year something had stirred
The people of Ashbourne had made themselves heard.
The yearly events attracted the crowds
Only the Gathering succumbed to the clouds.
The Up’Ards and Down’Ards fought a hard draw
Jones and Mee goaling the ball for their score.
Councillor Bull became mayor once again
Turned up the Ball then awarded the chain.
The bunting attracted the nation’s attention,
Constructed and fitted by too many to mention.
The Queen’s Jubilee gave us reason to party
The Festival welcomed the Arts and the arty.
June saw the Flame in the town for a day
Warming the hearts of the crowd on its way.
Carried by Megan, and Jason and Martin
For thousands to see before swiftly departing.
The Partnership building a Park of ambition
With things for our kids while keeping tradition.
And Santa looked down in the cool wintry air
At a town full of promise – good people to spare.
He noticed the traders, the schools and the crafters.
He noticed the churches, the clubs and the grafters.
The cafes, the markets, the young full of cheer
And hundreds unmentioned who just volunteer.
He handed out presents to empty his sled
Then unbridled the reindeer and put them to bed.
He smiled to himself as he thought what he’d seen
Then said “Merry Christmas, here’s to 2013”.