HE was guest of honour at the grand opening of Santa’s Magic Castle grotto where nearly 700 children turned out to see him.

There was a £1 entrance fee for the grotto, based in the then-new Swan shopping centre, Eastleigh.

All takings on the day of the grand opening –November 15, 1989 – went to the BBC Children in Need Appeal with the Swan Centre doubling the total.

Fees for the rest of the festive season went to local charities.