Thousands of people turned out to watch Bexleyheath’s Christmas lights switch-on Saturday.

Performances from The Rock Choir and Centre Stage Theatre Company got the day started, before street performers and stilt walkers entertained the growing crowds.

The Mayor of Bexley Peter Reader did the official switch on with help from three local school children who were winners of the town’s Christmas card design competition.

Amy Lau, whose eight-year-old son was one of the winners, said: “A thank you for all that took part in the making the event a success.

“My children have said they loved everything about the day from riding the train with Santa, the entertainers & getting to meet the Mayor and Mayoress of Bexley.

“Especially getting to see Santa in his grotto with their special tickets.”

The Christmas Grotto inside the Broadway Shopping Centre also opened on Saturday, and will remain open until Christmas Eve, raising money for The Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.

Tony Garratt, Bexleyheath Town Centre manager said: “The support we have seen today in Bexleyheath for the Switch On event has been incredible.

“We have been so proud to host such a magical day and welcome so many people to enjoy what Bexleyheath has to offer.”