Christmas

St Nick goes back to Santa School in Stepney to brush up his Christmas skills

PUBLISHED: 14:34 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:57 08 November 2017

It's back to school in Stepney for Old Nick. Picture: Rex images

It's back to school in Stepney for Old Nick. Picture: Rex images

Rex images

Saint Nicholas goes back to school in London’s East End this month to learn how to be a real Father Christmas.

Believe your eyes... a queue of Santas in Stepney ready to fly out to children all over the world. Picture: Rex imagesBelieve your eyes... a queue of Santas in Stepney ready to fly out to children all over the world. Picture: Rex images

The portly figure dressed in bright red winter coat with fur trimmings has been spotted queuing up on the pavement outside Stepney’s Ragged School Museum by the Regent’s Canal, ready for the doors to open.

The Santa School run by the Ministry of Fun, which trains seasonal Father Christmas performers, is also opening its own grotto to the public on November 25, with six sessions between 9am and 5.30pm.

“We are using 20 years’ experience of making magic,” Santa School founder James Lovell, 52, said.

“The magic is to help create an attraction to entertain children of all ages.”

Santa School headmaster James Lovell getting student Santas ready in Stepney for the Christmas Eve run. Picture: Rex imagesSanta School headmaster James Lovell getting student Santas ready in Stepney for the Christmas Eve run. Picture: Rex images

His Ministry of Fun, claimed to be Britain’s only genuine professional yuletide training college, was set up in 1997 with elves on its payroll.

Its Santa School was opened in 1999 as a ‘national elf service’ to turn out performers for grottos and department stores.

Santa has been secretly using the Ragged School’s authentic Victorian building in Copperfield Road as his global centre of operations.

He opens it up for the first time this year as a new grotto called the Ministry of Christmas on November 25—that’s a Saturday.

Here's where Father Christmas learns how to get to every rooftop chimney around the world on time. Picture: Rex imagesHere's where Father Christmas learns how to get to every rooftop chimney around the world on time. Picture: Rex images

Ministry of Fun officials insist the real Santa does exist—their graduates are merely helping Old Nick when he can’t get to every rooftop chimney in time on Christmas Eve.


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