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Doctor dressed as Father Christmas rides around Norwich on penny farthing to put smile on shoppers’ faces

PUBLISHED: 12:38 24 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:59 24 December 2017

Dr Simon Cooke riding his Penny Farthing dressed as Father Christmas around Norwich City on Christmas Eve.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Dr Simon Cooke riding his Penny Farthing dressed as Father Christmas around Norwich City on Christmas Eve. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

A Norwich GP was behind one of the more unusual festive sights in the city on Christmas Eve.

Dr Simon Cooke riding his Penny Farthing dressed as Father Christmas around Norwich City on Christmas Eve.
Picture: Nick ButcherDr Simon Cooke riding his Penny Farthing dressed as Father Christmas around Norwich City on Christmas Eve. Picture: Nick Butcher

Doctor Simon Cooke cycled around Norwich on his red penny farthing while dressed as Father Christmas to spread some festive cheer.

The 54-year-old, who is a GP at Oak Street Medical Practice, said he did it to make people smile.

“When I went out the first time, everyone seemed to like it and it kind of put a smile on their faces,” Mr Cooke said.

“So I thought if I can bring a bit of cheer at Christmas, then why not.

Dr Simon Cooke riding his Penny Farthing dressed as Father Christmas around Norwich City on Christmas Eve.
Picture: Nick ButcherDr Simon Cooke riding his Penny Farthing dressed as Father Christmas around Norwich City on Christmas Eve. Picture: Nick Butcher

“Although when I occasionally run into my family I should imagine they think ‘oh god, he’s on his bike again’.”

Mr Cooke said he did the same last Christmas Eve after purchasing a Santa Claus cycling top off the Internet.

But the festive stunt is not without its risks. Mr Cooke said in order to stop in an emergency, he has to “bail out” as the bike has no brakes.

“I have come off a couple of times, but I have not hurt anything yet,” he added.

“Riding a penny farthing is just like riding a normal bike, I could teach you in 10 minutes. You just have to take the fear factor out.

“It’s a bit high, but hey. It’s great fun. It’s the best bike I have got.”

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