THE heavy rain may have hit visitor numbers, but it couldn't wipe the smiles off the faces of the hundreds of people who braved the weather to watch Burnham's Christmas lights switch-on.

Somerset's Paralympic hero Deb Criddle, who won a gold and two silvers at the London Games in the dressage events, was the special guest invited to switch on the lights on Saturday, which she described as a “great honour”.

She said the atmosphere in the town was fantastic despite the poor weather.

Crowds also enjoyed festive music from the Mudlarks Community Choir and children from St Andrew's Junior School in Burnham, hand bell ringers from Berrow, face painting, and of course a visit from Father Christmas.

The event was organised by Burnham Chamber of Trade, Burnham Town Team and Burnham Lions.

Mark Newman, from the chamber of trade, said: “We're delighted that people came out despite the wet conditions.

“We have had great support and everybody was in good spirits, making it a great start to Christmas.”