Pictures of Christmas past

Crowds watch the annual procession of Father Christmas on his way to RHO Hills store in the rain, through Blackpool in 1975

Crowds watch the annual procession of Father Christmas on his way to RHO Hills store in the rain, through Blackpool in 1975

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He’s the friendly face of Christmas. He’s loved by children everywhere and has been a festive favourite for generations of youngsters.

Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St Nick... Whatever the name, the man in the big red suit hasn’t changed much in the last century.

Father Christmas with eight-year-old Dawn Farrow at Lewis's store grotto, Blackpool, in 1987

Father Christmas with eight-year-old Dawn Farrow at Lewis's store grotto, Blackpool, in 1987

Not something which is seen these days, but back in the day in Blackpool, his annual arrival was marked by hundreds of children waiting at the railway station and he was followed through the streets in a carnival-like procession to his special grotto, at the town’s department stores, Lewis’s and RHO Hills.

Delighted children are pictured in the Gazette archives – meeting him and giving him their Christmas wish-list, while he tried to find out if they had been naughty or nice.

He also found time to visit the Blackpool Tower Aquarium, Red Bank Illuminations in Bispham and various Christmas fairs.

Father Christmas entertains six year old Deborah Sykes and Ruth Groves, aged five, of Yorkshire, at Blackpool Tower's Underwater World, in 1984

Father Christmas entertains six year old Deborah Sykes and Ruth Groves, aged five, of Yorkshire, at Blackpool Tower's Underwater World, in 1984

Colourful characters Roger Rabbit, Cinderella and Prince Charming joined Santa Claus in a town centre parade, in 1990.
 He arrived at Blackpool North Station, from there he travelled in style in a vintage car along Talbot Road and along the Promenade, before arriving at Lewis's.

Colourful characters Roger Rabbit, Cinderella and Prince Charming joined Santa Claus in a town centre parade, in 1990. He arrived at Blackpool North Station, from there he travelled in style in a vintage car along Talbot Road and along the Promenade, before arriving at Lewis's.

Eight-year-old Catheryn Smith, of Argyle Road, Poulton, meeting Father Christmas during her visit to the Christmas fair, organised by the Poulton branch of North Fylde Conservative Association, held at St Chad's Church Hall, Poulton

Eight-year-old Catheryn Smith, of Argyle Road, Poulton, meeting Father Christmas during her visit to the Christmas fair, organised by the Poulton branch of North Fylde Conservative Association, held at St Chad's Church Hall, Poulton

Lewis's Santa arrives via North Station, in 1972

Lewis's Santa arrives via North Station, in 1972

Three-year-old Charles Cochrane soon made friends with Father Christmas at the RHO Hills grotto, when he visited him this week and told him his hopes for Christmas gifts

Three-year-old Charles Cochrane soon made friends with Father Christmas at the RHO Hills grotto, when he visited him this week and told him his hopes for Christmas gifts

The station master at North Station Mr T Davidson welcomes Father Christmas on his arrival by train on his way to RHO Hills at Blackpool, in 1963

The station master at North Station Mr T Davidson welcomes Father Christmas on his arrival by train on his way to RHO Hills at Blackpool, in 1963

A wave for Father Christmas, as he leaves North Station Blackpool, on a Rolls Royce for the Co-Op Lancastrian toy fair

A wave for Father Christmas, as he leaves North Station Blackpool, on a Rolls Royce for the Co-Op Lancastrian toy fair

Father Christmas arrives at Blackpool North Station, on his way to RHO Hills Store, Bank Hey Street

Father Christmas arrives at Blackpool North Station, on his way to RHO Hills Store, Bank Hey Street