Whaley Bridge teen saves strangers' Christmas after children's presents left on train platform

A Whaley Bridge teenager has performed a minor Christmas miracle after helping two families recover children’s presents they thought they had lost.

Friday, 24th December 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Friday, 24th December 2021, 4:49 pm

Stockport resident Rachel Shilliday, 39, and her family had met up with friends on Thursday, December 23, for a trip to see Father Christmas at the Secret Sorting Office in Whaley.

As they do every year, they exchanged gifts for Rachel’s three-year-old daughter and her friends’ four-year-old boy, but when they got off the train home at Disley in the afternoon they made a heart-sinking realisation.

Catering worker Rachel said: “We must have been chatting away, got distracted and managed to leave the bags somewhere but we didn’t know where. I jumped back on the train but couldn’t see them.

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Rachel and Damien Shilliday with daughter Ariana-Rose.

“The presents weren’t highly valuable, but it’s just a nice thing we always do for each other. We were gutted to think they’d been lost.

“I rang the Sorting Office but they didn’t have them, and then my husband remembered having them on the train platform at Whaley Bridge and must have put them down.”

With the station not usually staffed and three hours gone by, Rachel turned to Facebook in the desperate hope that someone in a Whaley community group might have stumbled upon the presents.

She said: “A few people offered to go down and look for them, then someone else responded to the post saying he had already found the bags on the platform.”

Kaylen Wright, 14, came to the rescue.

The hero of the hour was Chapel High School student and McColl’s paperboy Kaylen Wright, who lives close to the station.

He said: “I saw the post and thought I’d go and have a quick look. I was just happy I could do something to help, and they were really chuffed. It’s an absolute pleasure to help our community.”

With the presents secure, Kaylen decided he would deliver the presents personally – driven into Stockport by his uncle, rather than a team of reindeer.

Rachel said: “We were so grateful, we were telling Kaylen to come in and have a drink with us – we couldn’t tell from Facebook that he was only 14.

“He’s a lovely lad and it was such a kind thing to do. We really thought the presents would be lost. It restores your faith in everybody and that’s especially nice at this time of year.”

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