In This Issue
Rose pioneer David C. H. Austin Snr OBE passes away at the age of 92
Baytree set to buy Dents in Downham Market
Storm Deirdre takes gloss off Christmas, but it's better than last year for Garden Centres
Wyevale refine leadership structures and introduce more flexible ways of workings
Old Railway Line Garden Centre implements Corby & Fellas WinRetail System
Award-winning Primeur expands team as demand soars
No snow brings Christmas joy to festive sales
Poinsettias peak but not at last year's levels
HTA to promote children's gardening at Chelsea
Helping the homeless this Christmas
£2,500 award on offer in horticultural research scholarship
Oliver, 3, gets apology from Dobbies after he was stopped from meeting Santa
Johnsons garden centre plant sales soar by 10%
Taylors announce results of Autumn Bulbland Competition
Green light for Tong's £4m expansion plan
Crawley garden centre hopes to raise £10,000 for Alzheimer’s Society in continued support until 2020
A step towards protecting world forests
Daily Mail takes online tilt at Bents 'wagtastic Christmas'
HTA campaign will help you sell health and wellbeing benefits of gardening
17 national groups promised at IPM Essen plant show
Candlelight bring new gift collection to Spring Fair
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
Former Dobbies CEO is new HTA chairman
Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen to speak at 2019 GCA conference
Welcome boost for garden product sales
Ho, ho, ho! Christmas sets a new record
From 18% down to near parity confirms great eight months
Wild Bird Care sales increased in line with overall sales
Ball Colegrave launch new Speedplanters as demand grows
BALI raises valuable funds for Greenfingers
Tildenet promote James Leyland to head up group marketing
These plants match retail colour trends says nursery
STAX perx rewards programme saves customers thousands
Flopro Professional exceeds expectations
Campingaz fuels growth of cylinders with new Flogas partnership
The best of last week's
Recently sold Wyevale Garden Centre to be renamed
Grovewell grows to four with Hamstreet from Wyevale
Dobbies grows sales following management shake up
Plans to knock down another former Wyevale centre and build homes is blocked
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Oliver, 3, gets apology from Dobbies after he was stopped from meeting Santa

Dobbies has apologised to a three-year-old boy who was turned away from a Santa's grotto at its Gailey centre in Staffordshire because he wasn't on Father Christmas's list.


Oliver Terry and his father, Daniel, had been hoping to pass on his letter to Santa – but after queuing for half-an-hour they were turned away because they hadn't pre-booked their visit online. Mr Terrry said requests for Oliver to hand over his letter without receiving a gift, or to book a different session, fell on deaf ears.


Dobbies has offered to lay on a special tea with Santa for Oliver by way of an apology.


 “Oliver got upset and emotional when he was told he couldn't see Father Christmas and he was holding his letter to Santa. Seeing that broke my heart and left me disgusted,” Mr Terry told the Stoke Sentinel. “I initially went online to find out about the grotto and didn’t see anything about booking in advance and at the garden centre no-one checked we had booked until we had waited in the queue and got to the front.


“I accept that we should have booked online and that was our mistake. But this should have been made clearer.”


Oliver made up for his disappointment when he was taken to Fletcher’s Garden Centre in Eccleshall, where he met Santa, had a train ride and received a selection box.


The Dobbies Gailey grotto attracts more than 1,500 children every Christmas.


Dobbies Garden World general manager Michelle Stretton said: “We’re so sorry to hear that one of our customers has had such a disappointing experience with us at the weekend. I would welcome the customer contacting me directly so we can make it up to the little boy and his father - we’d gladly arrange a special tea with Santa to make sure the little boy has a lovely Christmas experience.


“We work tirelessly to try to make sure every single child and their families have a truly magical experience when visiting Santa. Our grotto was, unfortunately, fully booked over the weekend. We make it clear in all of our customer communications and on our website that advance booking is recommended and have now ensured it is on all grotto pages. In saying that, our staff did whatever they could to squeeze in walk-ins over the weekend, or we’d normally always try to book customers in for a slot on an alternative date, as we want to try to give every child a fantastic Santa experience.


Mr Terry said: “It’s a lovely gesture from the staff and it’s good that they’ve made it clearer online that you need to pre-book so other children won’t be disappointed like Oliver.”


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