IT is the tight-knit Hampshire community that has supported quadruple amputee Alex Lewis through his darkest days.

But last night it was the determined dad who lit up the streets of Stockbridge when he turned on the town’s Christmas lights with former grand prix driver and Top Gear front man Tiff Needell.

Hundreds of residents gathered to see the magical moment when Alex, who is now walking unaided on short artificial limbs, spread some festive cheer before a candle-lit carol service at St Peter’s Church.

This time last year Alex, his family and his friends were unsure he would survive beyond Christmas after a common cold left him fighting for his life in hospital. His ordeal resulted in him losing parts of his lips and all four limbs despite efforts to save his arm.

Daily Echo:

Alex, who has proposed to fiancée Lucy Townsend and is going through intensive rehabilitation in a bid to walk again, said: “Words can’t describe how grateful I am for the support of the community so it is an honour for me to turn on the lights.

“I feel so lucky to be with my family and friends this Christmas.”

Daily Echo:

Last night a 1977 F1 car, raced by Belgium driver Patrick Neve and used in the 2013 movie Rush, was on display in the High Street thanks to local restoration firm WKD.

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