gads carolsThe sleigh bells are ringing and the halls are decked – yes, it’s Christmas time. But with only fourteen days left to get the Christmas shopping done some of us may feel like yelling ‘Bah Humbug!’

But shoppers in Gillingham and Bluewater were full of good tidings after they were brought an extra dollop of Yuletide cheer by carol-singing school children based at Gad’s Hill Place, Higham the former home of Charles Dickens, whose novel, ‘A Christmas Carol’, is a festival staple.

As the Christmas shopping rush kicked in, the 50 youngsters from Gad’s Hill School serenaded shoppers with traditional Christmas carols and modern festive songs. Performing at John Lewis, Bluewater and in the mall at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, the young singers raised money for Get Kids Going, which supports disabled children taking part in sport by providing specialist sports wheelchairs and sports grants.

This is the third year that musical pupils aged between seven and fifteen from the School have put on warm-spirited concerts for shoppers.

One shopper stocking up on presents for those who’d been naughty and nice, remarked: “It’s been a lovely treat and makes for change from those songs that are always on repeat this time of year!”

Gad’s Director of Music, John Stone said: “The children really enjoy the festive singing, and so do the shoppers. We have had lots of people stopping to listen to them as they were browsing around the shops.

“Last year we raised almost £300 from the carol singing and we hope we can do the same this year.

“We haven’t started totting up the donations yet, but there were certainly no Scrooges, with many shoppers donating generously to the charity, so we’re hoping for a success.”