Earls Barton’s Father Christmas to retire

Geoff Drage is retiring from being Father Christmas after 25 years of doing the job in Earls Barton. This year he has grown a three inch white beard to look more authentic
Geoff Drage is retiring from being Father Christmas after 25 years of doing the job in Earls Barton. This year he has grown a three inch white beard to look more authentic
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A grandfather from Earls Barton who has been one of Father Christmas’ most loyal helpers since 1988 will be wearing his red suit for the last time this year.

Geoff Drage, 69, has lived in the village for 45 years and for the past 25 he has dressed up as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve for the annual carol concert.

In previous years, Mr Drage has arrived in the square on a trailer pulled by real reindeers and, for the past year, he has been growing a three-inch beard to help him get into character.

Mr Drage said: “I feel I have done my bit for the village.

“On the night I collect parcels for under-privileged children and we often get up to 3,000 people in the village square.

“I always tell the children to leave a carrot and glass of water out for the reindeers and a glass of whisky for Santa.”

Mr Drage said, since he had grown the white beard, he had started to be called ‘Santa’ more regularly.

The carol concert will take place from 7pm.