SCORES of crowds braved the wind and rain to see the Christmas lights being switched on and bring some festive cheer to the city centre.

• Southampton Christmas lights switch-on - in pictures >>

More than 100 people ventured into the Guildhall square to see City mayor Councillor Linda Norris flick the switch on the lights on the Christmas tree.

Speaking afterwards, Cllr Norris said: “Isn’t it wonderful? It looks stunning. I love it, I love the fact that the lights on the tree will stay on all year round, fingers crossed.”

Councillor Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for communities, culture and leisure, said: “It’s absolutely amazing, it’s really brightened up the city. It’s great to see people of all backgrounds, ages and faiths enjoy everything from a flying Santa to the lights to a real Christmas tree.”

Last year the city council couldn't afford a tree but days before Christmas, With the city council saying it could not fund a tree and just days to go to Christmas last year, the Daily Echo, Forestry Commission and a huge community operation came together to provide one next to the Bargate.

But this year the city has its own tree standing in Guildhall Square as opposed to Above Bar.

• Southampton Christmas lights switch-on - in pictures >>

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