Santa turns heads on Christmas motorbike

Jockie Reid, alias Santa Claus, roars into town on his custom-built Suzuki three-wheeler. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Jockie Reid, alias Santa Claus, roars into town on his custom-built Suzuki three-wheeler. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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SANTA Claus has come to town in spectacular style as a man reputed to be Britain’s oldest biker turned heads as St Nick on a one-of-a-kind Christmas motorcycle.

Liberton man Jockie Reid, 81, had cars honking as he roared through the area and was even chased by police – so officers could take a selfie with Santa.

And he was greeted by scores of delighted children as he pulled into the gates of Gilmerton Primary on Friday towing a sleigh produced and decorated by a team of local parents.

The three-wheeled Suzuki was custom-built for Mr Reid, and while his portrayal of Santa may be unconventional, the school’s parents reckons he’s the perfect fit.

“We were having the children’s teachers dress as Santa Claus every year, until the older children started pointing out the person behind the beard,” said PTA vice-chair Brenda McKenzie.

“We decided we needed to bring somebody in from outside the school, and we knew just who to ask.

“He’s so fantastic with the children, you couldn’t ask for a better Santa Claus.”

Presiding over a clan of five children, 14 grandchildren and five great-grand-children, widower Mr Reid had plenty of help getting ready for his Christmas run at the school – which daughter-in-law Tracy said got a huge reception.

“He was asked to dress up as a favour last year, and the reaction from the kids was brilliant. So, this year he wanted to go all out,” she said.

“It was quite a sight. Along the way, two policemen stopped and wanted to take a selfie with him, and cars were honking at him the entire way. The children went nuts.”

According to Mr Reid, the reactions of the kids is all that counts.

“It’s all about the bairns,” he said. “We thought the motorcycle idea was something different and that the children would enjoy it. Everyone chipped in to get the bike and the trailer ready and it looked incredible.”

Mr Reid had swapped his motorcycle for a car after he and wife Leila started their family. But after her death four years ago, he decided it was time to get back on the bike.

He added the children couldn’t believe their eyes when Santa pulled up on the custom three-wheeler.

“People were stopping all over to get a look, and it was great. But those smiles on the bairns, those are priceless.”

He even drove a few of the pupils around the school’s car park before presiding over Gilmerton’s Christmas fair. Next week, he’ll make another two visits to classes at the school.

He will also be making an appearance at next weekend’s Santa Run – which will see hundreds of Santas race around the Capital.

nash.riggins@edinburghnews.com