Wow! What have I let myself in for? I was up against some stiff competition from the three other finalists and was so sure that one of the other applicants would get the role that I can hardly believe it has turned out to be me that got the job.
I feel genuinely honoured and thrilled to have been chosen as the Borough’s first Town Crier in almost a century.
It all began a few weeks ago when I read that The Royal Borough was looking for a Crier. I immediately fired off an email asking to be considered for the role. A few hours later I followed it up with a phone message and only after that bothered to tell my wife Nicola.
Quite a few people have asked me why I applied, say it is something they could/would never even think of doing. Now that I have got the role, I can answer without worrying that my answer will in any way affect the outcome.
I have been a volunteer at Windsor’s Royal Borough Museum in the Guildhall since it opened. One of the key problems we face is that nobody knows it is actually there and we have often discussed going out onto the streets in costume and telling people about the museum. When I heard about the Crier, I thought that this would be exactly the role to make that task of letting people know about the museum an official task. So, basically I applied to be town crier as a way of helping the museum.
It was only later that I began to think about all the other aspects of being a town crier. I have been a tour guide in Wembley Stadium, Lord’s Cricket Ground and Windsor. To be honest, although I really enjoy my web design business, the tour guiding is what I enjoy most of all. The Crier role is an extension of what is already my favourite activity.
I am not normally a snappy dresser, but do enjoy historic costumes. I spent most evenings last winter making chanmail for a costume I wore at the museum’s ‘Medieval Merriment’ day. So, the idea of getting kitted up as a gentleman of the 1700s is in itself appealing to me. I am basically a bit of a show off.
When I started reading about the civic responsibilities I got even more interested. The crier acts as an officer of the Council and is tasked with helping officiate at events and adding colour (and volume) to proceedings. I just like the idea of being more involved in civic life without standing as a councilor (a role I would not be very good at).
Then someone mentioned the word charity and I immediately smiled. This is a role where I can be a genuine help for worthy organisations other than the Museum.
All of those reasons come together and give me a strong place to stand when and if people accuse me of being ridiculous and embarrassing. To be fair, nobody has said a single bad word although quite a few of my friends have almost died laughing when they first heard that I have been appointed Town Crier.