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Coventry’s iconic sleigh ride - have your say!

19 September 2018

Coventry’s iconic sleigh ride will return this Christmas – but the people of the city will get to decide if its landscape is given a fresh, new look.

Coventry Transport Museum is now home to the famous ride that has been a staple of the festive season in the city for more than 60 years and was previously in the Co-Op in Corporation Street.

The team at the Museum are beginning preparations for this year’s sleigh ride and detected that the scenery that families pass on their journey to meet Santa is in need of some running repairs.

The observation sparked a debate of whether to update the landscape – possibly including some famous Coventry landmarks – and then put the current scenery on display to be enjoyed by all generations before they embark on the ride.

The team at Coventry Transport Museum are split down the middle on whether to create a new landscape or repair the existing piece.

Ruark Jon-Stevens, Marketing Manager at Culture Coventry, said: “Following a survey amongst staff, it’s fifty/fifty on whether to keep the existing landscape or commission a new one, but we’ve got to make the decision quickly as the festive season is fast-approaching.

“We know that the sleigh ride means so much to the people of Coventry and in many households visiting the sleigh is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation, so we want to ensure that we are doing the right thing.

“The case for a new landscape would be that we could give it a fresh feel and it would be a new attraction for the people who have ridden the sleigh previously. We could even include more Coventry landmarks – particularly as we move towards UK City of Culture 2021 – but then, also, make a display of the current scenery.

“The case for repairing the current landscape is that it is, basically, the essence of the journey and should not be altered. It’s been an interesting debate amongst staff, but we want the people of Coventry to have the final say.”

Ali Kurji, Chief Executive of the Heart of England Co-operative Society, said: “The sleigh ride remains a much loved institution in the city of Coventry, having entertained generations of families from all over the world for more than six decades – 59 years of which were within the walls of our own Rooms of Coventry store in Corporation Street.

“It is excellent that in partnership with Culture Coventry, we were able to keep the magic alive within the Coventry Transport Museum, creating a unique Lapland experience for future generations of children.

“Even now, mums, dads and grandparents as well as our children of today continue to enjoy the ride which remains synonymous with Coventry’s Christmas spirit.”

To cast your vote, enter the poll on the Coventry Transport Museum Facebook page (@covTM) or email the team at

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