Hundreds of families lined New Malden High Street as they eagerly awaited the Christmas light switch on Friday.

Earlier in the evening a children’s choir had entertained crowds with classic Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells and Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.

Muscians were also at hand creating the lively atmosphere in the lead up to the grand light switch on.

Five-year-old Mia Remnant, who came along to see the lights with her family, said: “I can’t wait to see Santa. Christmas is my favourite.”

Proud grandmother Tokkie Gauche, of Howard Road, New Malden, said: “My grandaughter is singing in the choir so that’s really nice for me. She could not wait to get here.”

The Salvation Army gave out free cupcakes while elsewhere there was candy floss, popcorn and glow-in-the-dark sticks for grabs.

A sheep dressed as Santa Claus could also be found wandering the High Street.

Family man James Evans who had just moved into the area, said: “We just came down to see what it was all about. It is quite cold but it’s great for our kids. We are all excited.

“It might not be Regent Street but it’s home, New Malden."

Imma Merino, 40, of Egmont Road, New Malden, had wrapped her eight-month-old daughter nice and warm for the special occasion.

She said: “This is really exciting for me because it is the first time my daughter will get to see Christmas lights. She probably won’t remember but it is an important memory for me.”

Soon enough Father Christmas came down the High Street in a carriage with a sparkling silver reindeer dashing through as children cheered.

Each time he passed a light it was switched on, eventually leaving the entire High Street alight as the old boy settled in to St George’s Square for a meet and greet with a queue of excited children.

New Malden Methodist Church held a Christmas fair after the light switch on and children were able to make their own festive decorations and reindeer food.

Future plans for another revamp of New Malden High Street were also exhibited on the night.