A GRANDFATHER’S dying Christmas wish has come true after family members displayed his quirky Santa on a tractor creation that has been five years in the making.
Peter Smith, 74, worked tirelessly to provide some festive fun in his neighbourhood, but tragically fell ill and died before he could show off his work in all its glory.
Family members stepped in to get the display up in time for Christmas desperately hoping it would give Mr Smith the boost he needed to pull through.
Sadly, Mr Smith, who had been in an induced coma following heart attack on December 2, died on Monday but his family are determined his Santa will stay up as it was his wish for as many people as possible to see it.
Former farmer Mr Smith, of Grangefield Crescent, Rossington, was described as a bit of a Scrooge when it came to Christmas by his family that includes seven children and ten grandchildren.
But after receiving a Christmas card five years ago from an old pal Gilly Fields featuring a santa on a tractor he decided to go one better.
Proud grandaughter Cheryl Smith, 24, said: “He was always a bit of a Scrooge but after this card all of a sudden he was Mr Christmas.
“He already had the little grey fergie tractor as he is an ex farmer and tractor-mad, so he just needed to make a Santa and reindeers to go with it. “
After five years he finally perfected his santa design made from wood and his wife Margaret’s best pillows and made some new reindeers with the help of his grandchildren.
Cheryl added: “Unfortunately, this year he couldn’t get to put his tractor and santa up because he was rushed into hospital.
“He means so much to all of us and feeling so helpless we decided to make his wish come true this year and put his beloved work on show hoping it would be ready for when he got home. “He died on Monday but we know this is what he would have wanted, he wanted everyone to be able to see it and I know it would mean so much to him if more people could appreciate his hard work.”
But it seems it wasn’t as easy as anticipated making Mr Smith’s wish come true.
Cheryl said: “The tractor wouldn’t start to move it into place, we tried everything and we were really disappointed but when we got his friend round he took one look and said it hadn’t got any petrol in it.
“We knew my grandad would be laughing at us if he were hear to see it.”
The santa tractor display is now shining proudly outside Mr Smith’s home, and is attracting residents from across the borough eager to take a look.