SHOPPERS at a Hereford garden centre bagged themselves a bargain last Saturday when not one but three big names dropped by to kick off the festive season.

County Paralympians Sascha Kindred and Nyree Lewis sparkled at the opening of Wyevale’s 2008 Christmas Fair, but even they were outshone when the big man himself – Father Christmas – made an early appearance in a horse-drawn carriage.

The golden couple, who won gold and silver at the Beijing games earlier this year, were preparing for a well-earned festive break by checking out local food and craft producers at the event.

Sascha said: “Herefordshire has supported us and helped us to the Paralympics, so we are happy to be part of something that helps local businesses and it’s good to see so many people here buying their products.”

More than 50 stalls selling gifts and food were on offer last Saturday and Sunday, alongside warm mince pies, mulled wine and live music from St John’s band and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

Santa also started his 22nd season at Wyevale, during which time he has made more than £100,000 for local good causes through Hereford Lions Club.