CHRISTMAS has officially started within a seaside village community after Santa Claus himself paid a visit to turn on their festive lights.

Jaywick held its very own Christmas lights switch-on last weekend, unveiling a glistening tree outside of the Never Say Die Pub, in Broadway.

The tree was donated to the venue by a resident before local children decorated it using trinkets provided by the Jaywick Sands Community Forum.

In addition to Father Christmas, the crowds of spectators, a range of young and old, also got to meet Mrs Santa Claus, a team of helpful elves and the Grinch.

Brad Thompson, vice chairman and secretary of the Jaywick Sands Community Forum, said the event was a joyous occasion.

He added: “It was amazing to see everyone and the children loved seeing Santa, Mrs Santa, the elves and the Grinch.”

Jaywick’s Christmas lights switch-on was a separate affair to Clacton’s festive illuminations, which are now lighting up the town after being turned on last weekend.

Graham Webb is the chairman of the Clacton Town Partnership which organised the Clacton switch-on.

He said: “The square was packed leading up to the switch on in the evening and the lights came on looking perfectly good.”