WE seem to have had everything thrown at us over the past few weeks both at a local and national level.

National news has been packed with horror stories of migrants losing their lives in the Channel as they attempted to seek refuge in the UK. Desperate news indeed as we at this side of the water prepare to celebrate Christmastime with our families in the comfort of our homes.

On top of that there has been one of the worst storms for a long time hitting our shores, putting services off for thousands across the district; many for several days. As this is written lots of communities still have no electricity or mobile phone service and can only hope the lines are repaired and power resumed soon.

We did have a respite in the turmoil on Sunday, however, when the Christmas lights switch-on went ahead in town, preceded by the Santa fun run.

It was a sea of red outside in the high street as 1,600 Santas set off on their 5k run.

To top off a super day - even the heavy snow failed to dampen spirits - young Luke Mortimer, a hero in his own right for bouncing back after gruelling surgery following meningitis, had the task of switching on the lights, with help of dad and Santa. It made for a magical experience.