Britain's longest-serving Santa hands out gifts to kids for 59th consecutive year

BRITAIN’S longest-serving Santa is handing out gifts to children for his 59th year on the trot.

Retired tyre-fitter Ray Hulse, 77, got triple-jabbed so he could travel around primary schools for socially distanced appearances.

Grandad Ray, of Bridgnorth, Shrops, first stepped up as a stand-in Santa aged 18.

He said: “I have a slightly dodgy heart but I will do my best for that not to stop me. The reward I get is to see the expressions on the kids’ faces.

"The best thing about the job is wishing youngsters their first Merry Christmas – I always have a 'My First Christmas' sign, so memories can be made.

"It is just so fun and magical to do. I was 18 when I started and still get the same satisfaction from it today.

"I started out in a local village hall and a scout hut and it just grew from there. Just to bring joy and happiness to the children is great.

"The reward I get is to see the expressions on the kids' faces and the sparkle in their eyes."

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Ray decided to start raising money for terminally ill children following the loss of his son Nicholas in 2012.

Ray said: "He would be proud. He was a lovely lad, our first-born. He would have been 50 now."

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