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Santa Claus given his marching orders

A Santa Claus was told to stop entertaining children in a town centre over fears they would be "traumatised" by the sight of two Father Christmases in the same high street.

Colin Letchford, chairman of the Friends of Concord Beach charity, had donned the red suit and white beard during the Christmas lights switch-on in Canvey Island, Essex.

The group claims he was told to pack up by an official because of fears the arrival of Canvey Rotary Club's Santa sleigh could confuse and upset children.

In a letter to the Castle Point Echo newspaper, Barry and Dot Palmer, from Friends of Concord Beach, described the incident as a "sad state of affairs".

They added: "The biggest trauma was the one clearly visible on the faces of the children queuing to see Santa when the officials turned them away, coupled with the anger on the faces of the adults."

Dave Blackwell of Canvey Town Council said he asked officials to look into the incident.

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