HUNDREDS of people gathered in Totton last night to watch the FA Cup Fans Choir take part in the town’s annual lantern parade.

Reuniting for the first time since they sang Abide with Me at Wembley Stadium in May, the choir sang carols on a roundabout in the town centre.

They were watched by Father Christmas and hundreds of children carrying homemade lanterns.

A huge cheer went up as the choirmaster, Steve Thompson, switched on the lights covering a 25ft Christmas tree opposite the Asda supermarket.

Steve told the huge crowd: “This is a beautiful place. Let’s enjoy the festivities as we switch the Christmas lights on.”

Cllr Alison Hoare, chairman of New Forest District Council, and Julian Lewis, Tory MP for New Forest East, were among the guests who watched the red, white and blue lights illuminated the tree.

One of the organisers, Totton councillor Neville Penman, said: “Everything’s gone like a dream.”

Referring to the dramatic improvement in Totton’s Christmas lights display he added: “Four years ago we didn’t have any Christmas trees – and now we’ve got this.”