Pensioner with uncanny resemblance to Santa opens festive grotto so kids don’t miss out


A pensioner turned model is using his uncanny resemblance to Father Christmas to spread some Christmas joy at the end of a hard year.

Harry Mountain from Chorley, Lancashire, ran his own joinery business for decades before he started modelling full-time, a career that has since proven to be very successful for him.

Harry is often seen portraying Vikings, blacksmiths, Victorian gentlemen and Peaky Blinders in modelling shoots, reports Lancs Live.

But now, the 80-year-old is sharing his startling likeness to Father Christmas with socially-distanced family visits to spark some festive joy.

In the run-up to Christmas, Harry will be available to wave from the windows and leave chocolate out for the children.

“Kids can’t go to the grotto so I thought I would bring Father Christmas to them,” Harry said.

“I’m going to go to the houses and tap on their windows and wave to the kids, I’ve got a few cards made up to that say: ‘Have you been good?’ and stuff like that.

“I’ve been practising some magic tricks as well and I’m going to be ringing my bell and saying ‘ho ho ho’ all that stuff.

“I’ll leave a selection box on the step for them if the parents want as well.”

Having spent years as a keen photographer, Harry first stepped in front of the camera in 2018 as part of a Peaky Blinders themed photoshoot after one of his pal’s Brian’s scheduled models backed out.

To his surprise, he proved so successful that he was picked up by a national agency that provides films and TV extras to a number of different productions.

Harry first had the idea of bringing festive cheer to kids who won’t be able to go to grottos two weeks ago, as he added: “I said to my mate Brian Sandham, who got me into modelling with the Peaky Blinders shoot; ‘why don’t you open your studio as a grotto?'”

“You can social distance and have one family in at a time so he’s getting that ready at the moment.”

Since Harry hasn’t shaved since the first lockdown in March, he looks just the part with his thick beard.

All that was left was to do, was to pop on the iconic red suit, and he’s ready to go.

“I hope I can make a few kids happy during this terrible time,” Harry said.