The day young Charlie met Santa

Charlie Hook and sister
Charlie Hook and sister

A FIVE-YEAR-OLD boy who is “fighting for his life” after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, was treated to a day out on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway this weekend, where he got to meet Father Christmas.

Charlie Hook was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on his fifth birthday in January and although he has responded well to treatment, the illness carries an 80% relapse rate.

If Charlie was to relapse, full treatment is not available in the UK and so his family would have to pay £300,000 for treatment in Germany or the United States.

His mother, Nicola Hook launched the Charlie Hook Appeal in an attempt to raise these funds, and family friend Jansje Owens thanked NYMR for their efforts in helping the cause.

She said that the station staff at Grosmont had promised to leave collection boxes on display and added: “Santa even donated a fiver.”

The youngster, who has undergone radiotherapy treatment and intense chemotherapy, had a great day out and Jansje added: “Charlie was spoilt to pieces and by the end of the day he was playing hide and seek.

“His mum Nicola said that was the best day out she can remember him having in a very long time.”

Charlie was joined on the Santa Special by his mother Nicola, five-year-old sister Molly, nine-month-old brother Archie, and his grandparents Margaret and Steve Turton.

To make a donation to the Charlie Hook Appeal, visit

This year, Santa Specials are running from Whitby for the very first time, as well as from Grosmont and Pickering.

Fares are £13.50 for both adult and child tickets, which includes a trip on the train to meet Santa in his grotto, a hot drink and a mince pie.

Children will also receive a present, while adults will be able to enjoy a complementary tipple.

For more information, call (01751) 472508 or visit

PICTURED RIGHT: Charlie and Molly with Santa on the train