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Alfred, 82, plays Father Christmas
9:45am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
PRESTWICH has its own Father Christmas in the making — in the shape of 82-year-old Alfred McManus.
The great grandfather is hoping to spread some festive cheer after rekindling fond memories of a Christmas past 75 years ago.
When Alfred was seven, he was given a toy bus as a Christmas present from Wood Street Mission, in Manchester, and treasured it for decades.
Now the pensioner is returning the favour by organising a collection of toys for poverty-stricken youngsters.
He is appealing for people to drop off unwanted toys, as well as non-perishable foods, at the White Horse pub, in Bury New Road, Prestwich, so it can be taken to the mission in time for Christmas.
Alfred, of Stanhope Court, said: “When I was a kid I lived in Salford and we didn’t have much and I treasured that double-decker bus toy for a long time. It made my Christmas.
“There are a lot of families out there struggling to make ends meet these days and I want to do my bit to help them.”
Alfred, who has eight children, 16 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren, has been at the forefront of the collection in the past few years, and is hoping he can attract a bumper haul of goodies to meet an increase in demand.
Rachel Bywater, development manager at the mission, said: “Last year we provided toys to 3,700 children in the Manchester and Salford area and this year we expect to help 4,000 children.
“The gesture from Alfred and the pub is absolutely amazing and we are delighted that they supporting our efforts.
“We will be sending a van on November 30 to collect the items, which will make it an enjoyable Christmas for many children.”
A spokesman for the White Horse said: “It’s great to work with Alf by hosting this collection and we welcome any donations over the coming weeks.”
Mr McManus added: “The perfect Christmas present for me would be spending it with my loved ones knowing I’ve made life a little easier for families in need.”