A big-hearted pensioner known as Mr Christmas is being honoured by his neighbours after the news that his fading health means this year’s light extravaganza will be the last.
For 42 years Dave Edwards has lit up the front of his home every Christmas and brought smiles to the faces of local children and their mums and dads.
But the 86-year-old widower is now terminally ill with cancer.
His family said due to ill health, this year’s event would likely be the last.
Even so Dave is determined the lights should be switched on this weekend outside his home in Croxley Green and raise thousands of pounds for charity.
The news that Dave is so ill has prompted his neighbours in Lancing Way to put up a massive banner opposite his semi-detached home which reads “Thank you Mr Christmas – Croxley Green loves You!”
As a tribute to Dave locals are now putting up their own festive displays.
Over the years the lighting up of Dave’s home from mid-November to early January has become a big charity fund raiser and he has raised tens of thousands of pounds for local charities and good causes.
This Saturday evening (November 14) at 6pm when the lights are switched on, the crowds will not be allowed to attend the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Street will be closed, but this time to keep the crowds away,” said Sharon who said there will be no firework display or artificial snowfalls.
She says police have told her only two people will be allowed in the road outside her dad’s home along with her, r husband Paul and their two teenage daughters.
Sharon said her father has told her this year she will have to switch on the lights.
“It’s ironic really because when I was a teenager I was embarrassed by all of this.”
In 2000 the comedian and entertainer Brian Connolly who has close links to the area, was guest of honour and switched on the lights.
Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson switched on the lights one year and Billy Byrne from DIY DOS has done the same.
Over the years money raised from the Christmas light show has gone to the Peace Hospice in Watford, MASKS (Make a Special Kid Smile) and the Willow Foundation, among others.
Yesterday neighbours of the pensioner described Dave as kind and generous.
Mr Edwards’ neighbour Marie said it was “absolutely amazing” living next door to Dave
“You should see the absolute amazement in the children’s eyes,” she said.
“There is sheer delight to see the lights come on and every night people come by, and Dave comes out and hands out sweets.
“You can see both Dave and the children absolutely love it.”