Dave Edwards, commonly known as 'Mr Christmas’, has passed away last night after a courageous battle with cancer.

The heart of Christmas in the Watford and Croxley community, aged 86, was fighting his cancer to see a final Christmas decoration switch-on that is planned to take place this evening (November 14).

Mr Edwards has been the pinnacle of Christmas cheer after holding eye-catching festive decorations and lights for the past 42 years at Lancing Way, Croxley Green.

On Facebook, his daughter Sharon Markham wrote: “This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do (turning the lights on tonight will be even harder).

“Last night at 6.42pm, Mr Christmas (my dad) fell asleep, in my arms. He has fought a courageous battle with cancer. He is now with my mum. Hopefully when we light up Croxley Green tonight, he will be able to see the lights from heaven.”

Previously, his daughter believed Mr Edwards was holding on to see the final lights display.

Watford Observer:

Dave Edwards, AKA Mr Christmas, has sadly passed away

The Christmas house has raised money every year for different charities, as hundreds traditionally gather to watch a switch-on event.

Lights will still continue tonight despite the passing of Mr Edwards, but the switch-on will be held virtually and streamed via Facebook at 6pm due to current lockdown restrictions.

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And a public #LightUpCroxley campaign is ongoing which encourages residents to light up their windows and houses today and raise money for the family.

Coral Francesca, a close family friend, previously told the Observer that Mr Edwards is “literally like the grandad that everyone wants”.

She said: “He is so nice – no one can say a bad word about Dave, he will put you first, even when we didn’t know him and just went to the house for the switch-on, he’d always make sure everyone’s having a good time.”

“It affects everybody because Dave is such a well-known character around everywhere really, he’s just one in a million. He really is the meaning of Christmas.”

Watford Observer:

Dave Edwards at a pre-recorded look of the Christmas decorations this year

Councillor Chris Lloyd, Lead member for Leisure and Durrants ward Councillor, said: “Dave has worked tirelessly over many years with the Christmas Lights. In recent years Lancing Way has been closed as hundreds have people have come to the turning on.

"Dave has raised money for many charities over the years. The community really appreciates what he done for our community. when we have had visitors at Christmas young and old we will walk round to look at the Christmas lights"

Councillor Stephanie Singer, Durrants ward councillor also shared praise and said: "Every year I visit Dave Edwards' Christmas lights, and every year I marvel at the ingenuity of each new addition. His lighting display has truly been a Wonder of Croxley Green, which Piccadilly itself could not equal!”

Do you have any fond memories of Dave or messages of thanks for his wonderful Christmas displays? Send them over at: joseph.reaidi@newsquest.co.uk