Santa’s second shave – 20 years on

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HADLEIGH man Paul Lane – known as Santa because of his long, white beard – has only had two brushes with the razor in the last 40 years.

About 20 years ago, he had his beard shaved off to raise money for charity. Now, two decades on, Paul, of Aldham Road, has done it again – this time to help a cancer charity as his son, Colin, 41, is having cancer treatment.

Paul, 72, grew a beard when he was 18. He said: “In those days, you did it to look older. But, after I grew it, I met my future wife and she said she liked it, so I never bothered to shave.”

Paul, who is a member of the Monks Eleigh Bygone Collectors Club, had his eight-inch silver beard shaved off at a fundraising event at Crabtrees Cafe in Hadleigh High Street. “I’m not sure my wife approves of the new beardless me so I might have to grow it back again,” he said.

Paul raised nearly £1,000 for the Woolverstone Wish Fund, to refurbish the chemotherapy outpatients’ clinic and day-unit at Ipswich Hospital, and Lupus UK, a charity for people with Lupus, an incurable immune system illness.