DESPITE the torrential rain, hundreds of people turned out to watch this year’s Christmas lights switch-on in Dursley.

Coronation Street and former Casualty actor Tristan Gemmill, who lives near Wotton-under-Edge, was invited to be this year’s celebrity.

Several hundred people packed around the Christmas tree on Parsonage Street for the evening’s main event.

Thanks to the donation of an anonymous Dursley resident, a fireworks display lit up the sky from behind the swimming pool as soon as the button was pressed.

Speaking after the lights were switched on, mayor of Dursley, Clare Nelmes thanked everyone who had turned up and helped organise the evening.

She said: “This is the busiest I’ve seen Dursley since last year and it’s been a good evening despite the rain.

“Thanks to the kindness of someone who wished to remain anonymous we also had a fireworks display which really topped off the event.

“We had an amazing turnout and a great evening at what is an almost completely volunteer-run event which couldn’t have been done without the help of the traders and various groups that have supported us.”

As well as the evening’s main event the crowds were treated to a performance by the Rednock Swing Band and a special visit from Father Christmas.