A DISUSED bus shelter which became a lockdown swap shop has now got a new festive feel.

In the early months of the pandemic, the South Leigh bus shelter was given a fresh lick of paint as residents used it to swap books, puzzles and even vegetables.

Now though, the Station Road shelter has been spruced up and turned into a grotto.

A group of villagers planned the Christmas makeover in secret, in order to give a festive surprise to their neighbours.

Read again: Disused bus shelter in South Leigh becomes swap shop

Martin Spurrier, who helped with the project, said: “The lockdowns have brought our village together when you might have expected the opposite.

“The library/ swap shop was so successful that the shelter has become a focal point in the community of just about 300 people.

“Now, Santa has kindly made it his grotto with a board for people to write messages to each other at this time of goodwill.”

Oxford Mail: The inside of the bus shelter in South LeighThe inside of the bus shelter in South Leigh

The grotto is decorated inside with parcels, festive wreaths, and a Christmas tree, while stars were stuck onto blackout fabric, and a winter camouflage net was used to give the inside an icy feel.

There’s even space for elves and a battery-operated, motion-activated mooing elk head.

On the outside, the shelter now has an inflatable Santa, festive lights and reindeer on the roof.

The swap shop adhered to social distancing guidelines, with residents taking and leaving things for each other.

It was jokingly renamed ‘The Andrew Carnegie Memorial Library’, the Scottish industrialist who funded more than 2,500 libraries across the globe.