Skip to main content

Meet Farnham’s Town Crier

Town crier in uniform.

Find out about the Farnham Town Crier who is a familiar figure in the town centre and at local events.

How long have you lived in Farnham?

I first came to Farnham in 1969, having met my wife Sue, who was at Teachers’ Training College in Putney, and whose family lived in Hale, just down the road from where we now live. I used to spend weekends with her family, and I thought then that Farnham would be a nice place to live. In 1981, we moved into our present house in Upper Hale.

How did you become Town Crier?

I won a Town Crier Competition in 2003, which was held as part of the Easter Extravaganza that used to take place in Gostrey Meadow. I was officially appointed by Farnham Town Council to take up my duties on 1 June 2003. I also became a member of the Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers (AHGTC), which has over 200 members.

What made you want to be the Town Crier of Farnham?

I have been involved with local amateur dramatics for many years, and regarded it as an opportunity to play yet another role, albeit an ongoing one. It also gives me an opportunity to raise funds in memory of my son Matthew who died from meningitis shortly after returning to University for his second year. I have now given over 250 talks on my role as Farnham Town Crier and that, together with ‘commercial’ shouts, has enabled me to raise in excess of £10,000.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the promotional side of the job and being out and about in Farnham of a Saturday morning, promoting and taking part in the various events organised or supported by Farnham Town Council.

I also enjoy the civic side, and being involved in civic events throughout the year, such as Mayor Making, the Mayor’s Civic Service, the Civic Christmas Carol Concert, Service to Farnham Awards, etc.

In your opinion, what qualities do you feel you need to possess to be good at your job?

Obviously a loud and clear voice is a prerequisite. Also a willingness to appear in public in what some people regard as rather strange clothing, and to engage with people. It is certainly not a role for ‘shrinking violets’. You also need a good pair of legs, to fill out the stockings!

What is the favourite part of your uniform?

My favourite part of the uniform has to be the hat, which is a replica of an 18th century tricorn. If you look at past photos of the Christmas Lights switch-on in Farnham since 2003, you’ll notice the same little robin nesting at the front of the hat. The children think that I am a pirate, mainly because of the hat but also the fact that I have an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Depp!

What has been your favourite event and why?

My favourite event is reading out the nominations at the awards ceremony for the Service to Farnham Awards and realising the ‘unsung’ contributions of so many people who help to make Farnham such a great place in which to live and work. I was honoured myself to receive the award a few years ago.

As a longstanding resident of Farnham – what is your favourite thing to do here?

I used to enjoy jogging, having completed the London Marathon on several occasions, and it gave me the opportunity to explore all the lovely countryside in and around Farnham. Unfortunately my knees have now given up the ghost and so I now swim most days. Sue and I also greatly enjoy tea and scones in Elphicks.

What do you love most about Farnham?

Having lived here for over 30 years, we have seen a lot of changes, but Farnham remains quintessentially a traditional market town, and it is the mainstays such as Elphicks and the abundance of independent shops that help to maintain its character and uniqueness. There are also lots of good places to eat out, and places for families to visit in the surrounding area.

I also love the way that Farnham as a community is becoming more involved in Farnham in Bloom, particularly the involvement of the various schools, and the benefits it brings to the town throughout the year.


No address available