AN OTLEY law firm has done its good deed for Christmas - by rescuing ‘Santa’ from a chimney.

It was secretary Rebecca Bentley who first noticed strange cooing and flapping noises coming from inside the walls at Ison Harrison’s Market Street office.

Further investigation revealed that a bird had trapped itself within the brickwork of the building’s chimney breast, so fast action was required.

The staff carried out some controlled demolition work on one of the internal walls to free the hapless creature, which they dubbed Santa: and turned out to be a racing pigeon.

The bird was found to have a racing tag attached to one of its feet and a few phone calls revealed that his owners were in Newcastle.

So the Ison Harrison team focused on getting Santa’s strength up, by providing him with food and water, before releasing him for the homeward flight.

Rebecca said: “We all got quite attached to Santa after we freed him from behind the walls.

“Some of us even wanted to keep him for a while as we thought he might not be fit enough to fly.

“However, after testing if he could fly in the office - resulting in much amusement - we knew that it was time to set Santa free for the return leg of his journey.

“We all said our goodbyes and waved him off; releasing him in the hope that he made it home okay.”

Partner and branch manager Nigel Cowley added: “At Ison Harrison we’re used to getting involved in the local community but this is the first time we’ve had to do anything like this.

“After some minor DIY alterations in the office we were relieved to free Santa and send him on his way, although a few people in the office would have been happy to have him as the new office mascot.

“Father Christmas should have no trouble getting stuck in our office chimney this year, at least!

“Fingers crossed our office pigeon has made the return flight back up to the North East in time for Christmas.”

Ison Harrison’s Otley branch is the newest of the firm’s network of branches across Leeds and West Yorkshire.