Elf experience at Leeds' Lotherton Hall evacuated after being plunged into darkness

A Christmas event at Lotherton Hall took an un-festive turn as The Elf Experience had to be evacuated.

A power cut plunged the Elf Experience into darkness.

Children and parents visiting the winter wonderland this evening (Saturday) for woodland walks, fairy hideaways and hot chocolates with the elves were plunged into darkness and had to use mobile phone lights to find their way out.

The lights of Christmas went out after a power cut - which was caused by a blown fuse, which was caused by torrential wet weather.

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Rob Saxton, 39, of Emley Moor was there with his three-year-old son and family.

He said: "The lights went off and no-one really seemed to know what was happening and we were asked to stay still. When we had stood about 15 minutes one of the elves realised they needed to start doing something and started singing Christmas songs.

"All of a sudden, despite being told it was a power cut, one of them said there is an emergency and we have to evacuate. We didn't take it too seriously but he was flapping. There did not seem to be a plan in place and if there was, it wasn't one that staff seemed to know anything about. I would like to think we would go back because what they have there is nice but needed more organisation."

Those who had bought tickets to see Santa were being told that they could do so in the main house, which was unaffected, while electricians were called to rectify the problem before tomorrow's opening.

Maria Acres, the estate manager said: "We simply had a fuse go in the building because we have had some pretty horrendous weather and evacuation is because it is dark. Children are talking to the elves in the drawing room and are pretty hardy and set off on the woodland walk. It is just really unfortunate and the cafe and house is still open.

"We are very hopeful it will be open tomorrow and electricians are on their way."