Whitchurch has named its Citizen of the Year 2018 - and he had the honour of bringing Christmas to the town on Saturday afternoon.

Arthur Skitt was the guest of honour at the festive celebrations and flicked the switch on the town's Christmas lights.

The 70-year-old said he was "very excited" to be honoured by the town.

He was chosen by Whitchurch Town Council for all his voluntary work in the community, including collecting money at events and keeping the canal clean in partnership with the Waterways Trust.

Arthur, who has lived in the town his whole life, told the Whitchurch Herald: "I'm excited and I'm looking forward to turning on the lights.

"I enjoy getting involved in things around Whitchurch. I'm happy to get involved in any event. I love everything about Whitchurch.

"I'm looking forward to the year ahead."

The lights switch-on was the culmination of day-long festivities in the town, with a Christmas fair at the Civic Centre, Christmas crafts in the library, crib festival at St Alkmund's Parish Church, and a mini fairground.

There were also stalls and refreshments on the High Street and the Bull Ring, where Father Christmas spent the day collecting wishlists, while the town band played in various locations, and Maggie May's Dance Troupe and the Whitchurch Amateur Operatics Society performed.

The run-up to the switch-on included the annual lantern parade.

Mayor of Whitchurch, Councillor Tony Neville, said: "Arthur does so much in town.

"He's always there putting stalls up and taken them down, helping with road closures - he's involved with everything. "When we announced that he would be the Citizen of the Year it had a phenomenal response on social media - it shows that everybody knows him."

Cllr Neville added: "I'm feeling really good about the switch-on.

"This is where Christmas starts in Whitchurch and it's great for the town."

The outgoing Citizen of the Year, Rose Snell, joined Arthur and the mayor for a festive tea earlier in the day.

She said she had enjoyed her 12-months in the honourary role and said it had been a busy year.

Rose added: "It has been brilliant and an honour to represent the town.

"I'm pleased to be handing the role over to Arthur."