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Real life Santa brings festive cheer to Darlington shop window
A REAL life Santa Claus brought a touch of festive cheer to a shop’s window display today (Saturday December 14).
Sitting in a wing-backed chair surrounded by gifts and with a Christmas tree close by, Santa made himself at home in the cosy surroundings of Darlington’s Retro Replay shop for the afternoon.
Putting his feet up before the festive season begins in earnest, Santa passed the time waving at passersby and those waiting at the bus stop outside.
Bearded and cheerful Michael Pattenden – who is regularly mistaken for the great man – was persuaded to bring the festive window display to life by the shop’s owner Denise Cornforth and her husband, Charlie.
Mrs Cornforth said: “I chose him because everyone knows him as Santa anyway, hardly anyone knows his real name is Michael.
“We have surrounded him with presents, some donated by the public.
“We will donate all the presents to the children’s ward at Darlington Memorial Hospital as it’s just awful that some kids have to spend their Christmas in hospital and we don’t want them to think Santa has forgotten them or does not know where they are.”
Mr Cornforth added: “With his big beard and his big belly, he is a walking, talking Santa – it took me five years to realise his name was Mike.”
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