One of Sidmouth’s oldest residents helped switch on the town's Christmas lights on Saturday, November 18.

Olive Flynn, 97, joined Cllr Chris Lockyear, chair of Sidmouth Town Council, for the official switch-on in Market Square.

Sidmouth Herald: Cllr Chris Lockyear, Olive Flynn and her granddaughter Rachael FrenchShe said: “I feel honoured to have been asked to help turn on the Christmas lights and think they're the best I've ever seen.”

Cllr Lockyear said: “It's a lovely atmosphere and an excellent start to the festive season in Sidmouth.”

Sidmouth Herald: Musician Ashley Leeds

There was plenty of entertainment before the lights went on. Gliddon's Steam Traction Engine gave trailer rides around the town, Sid Valley Radio provided music, and was later joined by local musician Ashley Leeds who led singalongs to songs including Brown-Eyed Girl, Country Roads and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Ashley said: “There's been a great buzz and a real sense of community this evening. I've loved seeing people join in with the singing and celebrating the start of Christmas.”

Sidmouth Herald: Anne Tancott, Taste of Sidmouth

Taste of Sidmouth was doing a brisk trade, selling ice-creams and refreshments. Manager Anne Tancott said, “It's such a friendly, warm atmosphere and everyone is in a great mood.”

This year the switch-on event also included a ‘Light Parade’ by Sidmouth College Year 7 students and Sidmouth School of Art, to raise awareness of the Winter Light Festival early next year.

As usual, there was the 'golden ticket' raffle for one child to win a £100 voucher from Gliddon's Toy Shop. Robert Gliddon said: “The annual Christmas lights switch-on always draws a good crowd, and is wonderful part of Sidmouth gearing up for Christmas.”

The lights were designed and engineered by Torbay Display, which also supply lights for the frontage of Fields of Sidmouth.