CAROLLERS had unexpected musical accompaniment at Romsey’s annual open-air Christmas Carol Service on Monday eveing.

An intruder alarm at Santander Bank in the Market Place briefly interrupted the service organised by Romsey Rotary Club.

“It caused a bit of disruption and stopped the service for about five minutes. People tried to sing against the alarm, which suddenly stopped,” said Steve Arundel, senior vice-president of the club.

Around 1,000 carollers flocked into the town centre and, unlike many recent years, the weather stayed dry throughout. Michelmersh Silver Band and Romsey Male Voice Choir provided the backing for the carollers, who sang, amongst others, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in A Manger, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and Silent Night.

Mayor of Romsey, Mark Cooper and Test Valley’s mayor, Dorothy Baverstock, took part in the service, conducted by Ray Trickey.

Prayers were said by Romsey’s vicar, the Rev Tim Sledge.

Mr Arundel said it was so good to see so many people at the event, which raised £1,800 for Rotary charities – an increase of £300 on last year. He added that apart from the interruption, there was a “lovely atmosphere” in the Market Place.