Dec 19 2011: Portrait of an Elderly Gentleman with a Long White Beard and a Terrified Santa (1950s – 1980s)

Another window opens in the advent calendar, possibly touching on a great and still unanswered question about this time of year. After all, no revelation has ever been made concerning the activities of Santa Claus on the other 364 days of the year, but this question may be slightly closer to finding an answer after a long lost photograph, showing him in sunshine while sporting a nautical cap in a car park somewhere in England in the 1950s, surfaced in a Nottinghamshire archive recently. The exact identity of the subject, photographer, and both the location and date, are all unknown, but perhaps this is an important first step towards the resolution of a long-standing seasonal mystery? If you know who this man is, or where he was seen last, do get in touch via the comments thread. The photograph below, taken somewhat later, with the subject very much ‘on duty’, suggests he may be experiencing some kind of existential crisis, manifested as a fear of the children he is generally known to consider his allies during the latter days of December.

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