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On our recent visit to London we saw a lot of Santas. At first it was just one or two of the sort seen annually at this time of year, dressed up, out for a drink with friends, wearing as a minimum a basic red and white hat. However, these Santas, and the groups of eight to ten we saw subsequently had made more effort. Hat, jacket and trousers were worn by all with some adding a broad black belt or a home made one of tinsel. True, most of these outfits had that skimped look suggesting an origin in a Chinese factory and a price that left change out of a ten pound note. But, nonetheless they exhibited more than the usual attempt to emulate the dress sense of the man in red.
It was when we turned the corner to where the west portico of St Paul's Cathedral towers over the street that we realised there was something of a greater magnitude going on than a few friends on an outing or a themed office party taking place. There must have been three or four hundred Santas thronging the plaza, police in attendance, listening the the multitude of St Nicholas's giving enthusiastic, if discordant, renditions of well known carols. Only later, when I got home did I discover that we had inadvertently stumbled upon London Santacon 2016, a flash-mob style meeting advertised over the internet for people to congregate in London dressed as Father Christmas. The aim of the event was to provide a "non-proﬁt, non-political, non-religious and non-sensical Christmas parade". It seemed to be quite good humoured, harmless and colourful. However, I wasn't tempted to join in this year or any year for that matter.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Photo Title: Revellers, London Santacon 2016
Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/30
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On