FATHER Christmas came to town at the weekend - and brought his friends along for the ride.

On Saturday, shoppers in Ivybridge and drivers on the A38 were treated to the unusual sight of not one, but 140 people dressed as Father Christmas riding motorbikes.

The festively dressed bikers were taking part in the ’Santa’s on a Bike to Little Harbour’ ride, itself part of a wider movement that saw bikers dressed as Father Christmas riding to children’s charities around the country, and raising money on the way.

140 bikers gathered at Lee Mill on Saturday morning, final destination Little Harbour in St Austell, which is run by Children’s Hospice SW. The group headed off for a loop through Ivybridge, before roaring down the A38 towards Saltash, Liskeard and eventually St Austell.

The bikers got a great reception in Ivybridge, and Jerry Rogers, chairman of event organisers Plymouth Advanced Motorcyclists paid tribute to all those that turned out to watch.

He said: ’The primary aim of the Santa’s on a Bike to Little Harbour ride is to raise money for Children’s Hospice SW. I am immensely grateful to all the bikers who turned out in support of this ride to create this fantastic spectacle.

’I am equally grateful to all those people who turned out to watch the event in Ivybridge, Saltash and Liskeard, as well as on the numerous overhead bridges en route.

’The support and generosity of all concerned will have greatly assisted Children’s Hospice SW in their work to make the most of short and precious lives throughout the South West. Thank you to you all and I look forward to seeing you again next year.’

Jerry added his thanks to the Cornwall Blood Bikes and Devon Freewheelers for marshalling the ride, and volunteers from Plymouth Advanced Motorcyclists who manned the collection buckets in Ivybridge, Saltash and Liskeard.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at www.justgiving.com/Santas-on-a-Bike. All money given goes to Children’s Hospice SW.