Monday, 13 December 2010

We Didn't Meet At Debenhams (But I Still Met Santa Anyway)

Here's a little story about a badge I discovered in my old badge box tonight. Badges probably have lots of stories... I guess it depends if you want to tell them!

Way back around 1975, a boy in my class at Richard Hind Primary School, Stockton-On-Tees called Paul Campbell - I think it was him anyway! - gave me this Father Christmas - We Met At Debenhams badge.

I don't know if Paul did meet Santa at Debenhams, but I seem to remember meeting Santa at a Church Hall just off Yarm Road a couple of times around 1975. I remember the long queue and how magical the Grotto seemed. On that occasion Santa gave me a Domino set.

Happy Birthday Father Christmas!

The next time I saw him was in Johnnie Walker square, in Stockton On Tees around 1977.

On this occasion I wished him a Happy Birthday and he looked rather puzzled.

Okay I know, it's meant to be Jesus' birthday, but I was still getting the hang of Christmas when I was 8. 

Anyhow, back to The Debenhams badge - I took it home and proudly showed it to my Mother. "But you didn't meet him at Debenhams did you?", she said. No I didn't mother, but some 35 years later, I still have the badge!

Christmas Musical Memories:

I've recently written a few Christmas related articles.

If like me you love Christmas music you might like to check out my list of essential Christmas albums: From Bing To Elvis - A List Of Classic Christmas Albums while the retrospective show Christmas With the Rat Pack reminds us of those great Christmas tunes that Sinatra, Martin and Davis provided us with for many years and brings them firmly into the 21st Century!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andy,

    I love your reminiscences about Debenhams and Father Christmas. I had a dream last night about visiting the Hastings branch as a kid and recalled there being a kind of 'ride' you could sit in like a 'Ghost Train' kind of things after the visit to Santa. To be honest, I think that part is a false memory and probably tied up in either my visit to Madamme Taussards where there is such a ride or my brain thinking of 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory'.

    If you love Christmas you will like my Youtube Channel (Maybrick44) because I have a playlist related to all things Christmassy including some videos of songs of mine you might like. Most people think 'If Santa Was A D.J' is cool! HA HA

    I am thinking of writing an article for 'Hastings Town' magazine about Debenhams and Christmas so I wonder if you'd mind sending me a pic of your Debenhams badge? If your up for it please e mail it to me at

    All the best, happy blogging!

    Tony May.



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