Thursday, December 22, 2011

First 'Santa friendly chimney' created after boy's letter

A young boy’s fears that his new house would not have a chimney big enough to fit Father Christmas has led a Cotswold builder designing one of the world’s first Father Christmas-friendly chimneys. Leo Park, six, was understandably alarmed when his mother Jade began designing a new holiday home with a chimney that was too small for Father Christmas. So he wrote to local builder Jeremy Paxton, whose team set to work on the “perfect Father Christmas chimney” using a simple mathematical formula.

Leo wrote: “I am worried that my mummy’s house doesn’t have a big enough chimney. I think Father Christmas will get stuck. Please can you help? Love Leo.” Mr Paxton was taken by the sweet-natured note and commissioned an architect and a mathematician to design a Chimney that could fit Saint Nick, his bulging frame and a sack full of presents on Christmas day. On Monday Mr Paxton unveiled the chimney, which is undergoing practical tests, at the Lower Mill Estate near Cirencester, Glos. Leo and his mother were guests of honour as a crane lifted Father Christmas up to the roof of the £750,000 four-storey property and lowered him into the Cotswold stone chimney, which goes all the way down to the sitting room.

“A perfect fit,” said Father Christmas. “I wish they were all like this.” “When I got Leo’s letter I was just going to write back to him at first, but then I got to thinking there was more to it,” said Mr Paxton, the founder and owner of the Lower Mill Estate. I contacted one of the Lower Mill architects, Andy Ramus, who has recently become a dad himself and he was really taken with the idea. He talked to a mathematician who came up with a formula and produced 3D computer images and working drawings for the perfect Father Christmas chimney.”

YouTube link.

The hard work paid off as Leo was left suitably impressed by the design. "It was brilliant. That’s the best thing ever," he said. “He didn’t get stuck. He went right down. It was fantastic. I'm glad I wrote the letter. It means in future Christmases there will be no problem with everyone getting their presents on time."

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