Christmas decorations: Essex man, 78, carves polystyrene Santa during lockdown

Christmas decorations: Essex man, 78, carves polystyrene Santa during lockdown

A 78-year-old man spent lockdown carving an elaborate festive display from polystyrene for his front garden.

The scene outside Tony Rymill’s home at Hatfield Peveril, Essex, shows Santa leaving presents in a living room.

It took him six months to build the life-sized model and items including a fireplace and grandfather clock.

The retired builder and architect said it was “an absolute pleasure” to make and the reaction of local children had been “wonderful” to see.

Mr Rymill has created Halloween displays in the past but decided to switch to a Christmas theme this year so it could stay in place for an entire month.

Starting in June, he glued chunks of polystyrene together before painstakingly carving and painting the various parts in his shed.

He said: “As soon as you start shaving polystyrene, you get covered in it because it’s static and the little beads cling to you.

“I’m banned from the house. I have to take all my clothes off, virtually down to my underwear, walk into the house and put a new set of clothes on before my wife allows me inside.”

Despite the mess, he said it was worth the effort: “It’s been an absolute pleasure and what is really, really lovely is to hear the children walking past, coming home from school.

“The excitement and laughter is just a wonderful feeling.”

Planning is already under way for next year’s display, when he hopes to add a sleigh and three reindeer.

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