SOME had hailed them as being the best Christmas lights in the South – and in 1999 they were bigger than ever.

Hundreds of people packed Romsey Square to see Chamber of Commerce president Roderick Hall throw the switch.

The display cost more than £8,000 and featured more than 6,000 light bulbs and 220 Christmas trees.

The new features that included ten extra looms across roads as well as lights in trees by Romsey Abbey.

In keeping with tradition, the chamber of commerce chose a local youngster – four-year-old Nicole Pegram – to help with the big switch-on ceremony.

Many local groups, including Romsey Old Cadets, marched through the town centre with hundreds of spectators looking on.