OSWESTRY Town Council has refused to let the Covid-19 pandemic and second lockdown dampen their Christmas spirit with a virtual lights switch-on.

In a video created especially for the event, Oswestry's mayor, Councillor Duncan Kerr, played the role of Father Christmas, dressed in his full mayoral regalia as he introduced the switch-on.

Cllr Kerr thanked everyone who took part and admitted that 2020's switch-on was not what the people of Oswestry deserved, because of the pandemic.

"Ho, ho ho and welcome to the first virtual switching on of the Christmas Lights here in Oswestry," he said.

"As you appreciate, we've had to do things a little differently this year.

"The switch-on event is one of our most popular times and it's a real celebration of the town of Oswestry.

"Many of you would have would have been watching, or even performing, on the Bailey Head in front of packed crowd.

"The Christmas Lights switch-on wouldn't be the same without so we've tried to get a few of you together in this short video to celebrate what's great about the town.

"In my role as mayor, I've had the opportunity to meet individuals and groups over the past few months, and I have seen some amazing community spirit.

"I hope the switch-on of the Christmas lights helps raise your spirits."

BBC Shropshire's James Bond – traditionally the host for the event – was joined by Helen Silver, who was invited to switch on the lights by Oswestry Town Council.

She was recently awarded the Chief Nursing Officers Silver Award for her role as staff nurse at Gobowen's Orthopaedic Hospital for nursing excellence of 41 years of service.

A council spokesman added: "She represents the important work carried out by all the local key workers during this difficult time.

"Thank you Helen."

Helen then completed the countdown as Cllr Kerr pressed the plunger down and switch the lights on.