Couple bring festive cheer to Sidmouth for a decade

Francine and Philip Hayes- DeWymmer have been dressing up every Christmas Day for 10 years to wish S

Francine and Philip Hayes- DeWymmer have been dressing up every Christmas Day for 10 years to wish Sidmouth residents a Merry Christmas. - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth couple, who have spent a decade bringing Christmas Day cheer to the town, say they will keep their festive tradition going for years to come.

Francine and Philip Hayes- DeWymmer have been dressing up every Christmas Day for 10 years to wish S

Francine and Philip Hayes- DeWymmer have been dressing up every Christmas Day for 10 years to wish Sidmouth residents a Merry Christmas. - Credit: Archant

Francine Hayes-DeWymmer dresses up every year as Santa - with hubby Philip as her little helper - to hand out sweets to children and adults on The Esplanade - and even has dog biscuits for passing pets.

Retired nurse Francine, a grandmother-of-one, said: “It brings me joy and makes my Christmas.”

The 67-year-old dresses up no matter the weather and even carried out her festive duties on crutches following a foot operation.

The couple’s work has been praised by former resident Panos Taliadoros, a former resident who now lives in Greece.


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Panos said: “She’s just got a heart of gold.

“She asks for nothing in return, no charity or any other agenda other than to wish people a Happy Christmas.”

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