Meet The Team
It all began in 2011, when the man behind "Santa" was asked to help out at a pre Christmas charity shopping event in the towns Links Hotel. He had been asked to wear something with a Christmas theme to it. As it was only the end of October, he didn't know what to do, but eventually decided on a Santa suit.
Being quite particular, he was determined that in order to carry it off, the suit would need to be of decent quality. So off he went in search of a suit, visiting various stockists, taking him all over the UK. The suit he found was glorious, very plush looking and looked the part. Many people complimented him on his attire at the event, which even brought a few requests to attend other events in the town.
Santa was asked to entertain the children at the annual Macmillan Christmas Fayre in the Town Hall, where a makeshift Grotto was erected. Children & parents who visited were thrilled, as well as being curious, because "Santa" knew so much about them. But Santa knows everything, doesn't he......
The following year Santa was again asked to do the Macmillan event, along with several playgroups and private parties.
Although he had no desire to make any financial gain himself, from what he saw was a bit of fun which brought happiness to many, it was felt that it could be used to fundraise for local causes, and it was then that "Santa Claus in Montrose" began.
In 2012, Santa approached the local Co-op, to enquire if they would allow him to set up his Grotto in store for a weekend in December. They were only too happy to help out, and were on hand with tea & biscuits all day for Santa & his helpers.
The weekend was a success, with £600 being raised. This was donated to Dorward House's comfort fund.
Word soon spread about Santa's fundraising and the following year, despite being admitted to hospital on the 1st December with bels palsy he managed to raise £1500 for Montrose Maternity Unit.
In June 2014, Santa & one of his helpers were talking about how much time was put into setting up & dismantling the Grotto after every event, and decided to look at the possibility of building a wooden type cabin on wheels. Within weeks, several businesses from Montrose, Brechin & Edzell had agreed to supply some materials towards the costs. Santa was keen that this would be something that could be used for many years to come, so he himself funded the remainder required to get the Grotto built, a project which he adds to every year.
Come August that year, local joiner Andrew Stott had begun the build which required to be done within 12 weeks. Santa was delighted with it and couldn't wait to show it off to everyone.
The 1st outing for Santa was at the Montrose Christmas Lights switch on event, which saw families waiting over 1.5 hours to visit him. He was only due to be there until 4pm, but stayed to see every child that had waited patiently to see him, eventually leaving around 7pm. This year also saw Mrs Claus visit Montrose along with Santa. This proved very popular with the children, especially the ones who were still a bit unsure of Santa. Due the popularity of Mrs Claus, she has continued to accompany him at all his engagements.
With many playgroup visits, parties & home visits (which had been introduced), the next big event was at the Montrose Christmas Spectacular, where Santa was busy meeting children all day, and also thrilled them by joining them on the various funfair rides at the annual event.
This was Santa's most successful year to date, with £2000 being raised for local boy Aidan Thompson, who suffers from verbal dyspraxia.
In 2015, Santa took over organising of the Montrose Christmas Spectacular, which has become his main source of fundraising, again raising £2000, which was split between "Montrose Daycare Centre" & " Down Right Fun", the local group set up to benefit those with down syndrome.
2020, saw the charity take on the role of putting up & maintaining Montrose Christmas Lights. After years of little or no maintenance, most of the lights were beyond repair and require replacements. Given that we were going through a global pandemic, the charity were able to put on a fantastic display, and hope to improve in the years to come.
All this is not possible without the continued support from you !!!