Farnham Town Crier
I was officially appointed by the Farnham Town Council as the Farnham Town Crier on the 1st June 2003, and finally stepped down from that role on the 31st December 2019, after nearly 17 years of service.
Farnham Town Council have yet to appoint a successor.
Initially, my main role in taking up the post was to promote events taking place in and around Farnham, such as Farmers' Market, Music in the Park, Christmas Lights, Christmas Market, Food Fayre, Heritage Days, Farnham Carnival, etc.
I would be out and about in Farnham town centre most Saturday mornings, doing 'shouts', and distributing typically about 600 sets of leaflets. As well as leaflets and flyers for the Farnham Town Council, I would also give out leaflets and flyers for Charities, and would spend an hour or so each Friday night collating the various pieces of paper ready for the next day, whilst enjoying a glass of wine.
As the events became more established, promotion was no longer as important and my role changed more to that of Master of Ceremonies for the various events that took place in the Town calender, e.g. Annual Mayor Making, Service to Farnham Awards, Venison Dinner, Town Twinning, etc.
My favourite event of the year was the Switching-On of the Christmas Lights, which heralded the start of Christmas here in Farnham.
Initially this took place in what was the Woolmead Shopping Centre. I would lead a procession from the Town Council Offices in South Street, along Union Road, up Downing Street, then right into the Borough, then left at the traffic lights by Barclays into Bear Lane, along Woolmead Road, and finally loop round to the Woolmead.
The Mayor would travel in a vintage car, accompanied initially by look-alikes, e.g. Posh & Becks, Robbie Williams, and then later by Farnham's Young Person of the Year.
The event was then moved to Gostrey Meadows, where a stage had been set up, and various performances would take place during the day, before the switch-on early in the evening.
Just before the switch-on, I would introduce and invite the Mayor of Farnham onto the main stage. Latterly, I would also do a reading of "T'was The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore.
In 2019, for the first time during my tenure as Farnham Town Crier, I was not invited to take part in the switch-on, and which precipitated my stepping down from the role of Town Crier earlier than had been intended.
I also, and will continue to, undertake duties for the Aldershot Town Manager, as requested. In the past this has involved compering the Victoria Day Parade, attending the Turning-On of the Christmas Lights, and announcing and leading the 2-minute silence on the 11th November.