January 25, 2023

Ray Hulse, 78, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, Britain's longest-serving Santa Claus who has been doing this for 60 years.  Ray Hulse meets children at St Leonard's Hall, Bridgnorth.  03/12/2022.  Britain's longest-serving Santa has hit a huge 60-year milestone as he celebrates a record six decades of donning his iconic red suit and white beard.  See SWNS story SWNJsanta.  Ray Hulse, 78, has handed out thousands of gifts to delighted children since he started dressing as Santa Claus in 1962 when he was just 18.  are you able to work through covid.  He spends his holidays visiting schools and supermarkets and has collected over €55,000 in his time as Santa Claus.  Now former tire fitter Ray is celebrating a massive sixty years of playing his beloved Santa, the longest in Britain and Ray thinks possibly in the world.

Ray Hulse, 78, of Bridgnorth, Schropshirehasn’t missed Christmas in six decades (Photo: SWNS)

A man who has dressed up as Santa Claus every Christmas for the past 60 years has no plans to stop anytime soon.

Ray Hulse, 78, has handed out thousands of gifts to delighted youngsters since donning the celebratory red and white suit as a stand-in in 1962, when he was just 18.

The grandpa hasn’t missed a single year and even made sure to appear socially distanced during the pandemic.

Ray visits schools, supermarkets and village halls, raising over £55,000 for charities in the process.

Now the Shropshire father-of-three is celebrating reaching his incredible 60th birthday and has vowed to keep going for as long as possible.

He said, “There aren’t many people who can say they’ve been doing anything for 60 years.

‘I’m actually the longest-serving Santa Claus in Britain, and maybe the world. There can’t be many who have been doing it as long as I have.

Ray Hulse dressed up as Santa Claus and talked to children.

Ray said he loves dressing up as Santa Claus because of the ‘sparkle’ it brings to kids (Picture: SWNS)

Collect Photo - Ray Hulse in 1995. Britain's longest-serving Santa has hit a huge 60-year milestone as he celebrates a record six decades of wearing his iconic red suit and white beard.  See SWNS story SWNJsanta.  Ray Hulse, 78, has handed out thousands of gifts to delighted children since he started dressing as Santa Claus in 1962 when he was just 18.  are you able to work through covid.  He spends his holidays visiting schools and supermarkets and has collected over €55,000 in his time as Santa Claus.  Now former tire fitter Ray is celebrating a massive sixty years of playing his beloved Santa, the longest in Britain and Ray thinks possibly in the world.

Ray has been dressing up as Santa Claus since 1962, when he first did it at age 18 (Picture: SWNS)

“It started when I was asked to throw a kid’s party when I was 18. Once I saw the kids shine, I thought: I’m going to continue.

“I did it on horseback, in my car, I raised money for charities and hospices.”

“Whenever I go out and I do, I’m not me, I’m Santa. I go straight into character and stay in character.”

Ray explained that the role means so much to him because he “didn’t have the best life growing up.”

He said: ‘I had to hand in my wages after working in the mines. This is why I’m doing this – to give kids something I didn’t have.

“The reward I get is the expression on the children’s faces and the sparkle in their eyes.

Ray Hulse in 2013. Britain's longest-serving Santa has hit a huge 60-year milestone as he celebrates a record six decades of donning his iconic red suit and white beard.  See SWNS story SWNJsanta.  Ray Hulse, 78, has handed out thousands of gifts to delighted children since he started dressing as Santa Claus in 1962 when he was just 18.  are you able to work through covid.  He spends his holidays visiting schools and supermarkets and has collected over €55,000 in his time as Santa Claus.  Now former tire fitter Ray is celebrating a massive sixty years of playing his beloved Santa, the longest in Britain and Ray thinks possibly in the world.

He has raised more than £55,000 for charities over the past 60 years (Photo: SWNS)

“As long as I am able, I will continue. I’m not going to slow down, I’m going to keep going and doing what I can for other people.

“I try to do what I can, when I can, even if my heart is a little unreliable.”

Ray has always made his own costumes, donning antique glasses and white gloves to complete the look.

He said, “All I’m thinking about is how to make that sparkle and that bit of magic even better and after 60 years of doing this I’d like to think I’m getting something right now.”

For the past 30 years, Ray has raised money for Hope House Children’s Hospices, after losing his son Nicholas in 2012.

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