Britain's Longest Serving Santa

A Shropshire grandfather could be Britain’s longest serving Father Christmas after handing out gifts for nearly half a century. Ray Hulse, 67, from Bridgnorth, has been playing Santa Claus since he was just 18-years-old – meaning he’s been spreading festive joy for 49 years. He created his first grotto at a simple Ford garage – with people coming from far and wide to offer Santa their Christmas wish list. “I started out there,” said Mr Hulse. “Then I did one in a scout hut and it just grew from there. At first, I had to borrow a costume. It soon took off and became so popular that I had my own costume made. “But it’s got better and better since then. I’d raise money for the Church of England’s waifs and strays, then I started to do it for other charities. “I wouldn’t like to guess how much I’ve raised down the years, but I imagine it must be around £64,000.