From the latest Saturday Live programme on BBC Radio 4, we learnt all about the history of the town crier, which brings me to our little town of Billericay in Essex. How lucky we are to have our own rather special gentleman (with a very loud voice - and a bell) who represents Billericay as Town Crier.
This is our friend, the well known James (Jim) Shrubb who was invited to Buckingham Palace last month in honour of Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday. Although Jim has always performed his 'crying' duties impeccably, and we have photographed him dozens of times, this last occasion was rather special. He was one of 16 members of the Loyal Company of Town Criers to read out proclamations inside those gorgeous Palace gates. This was followed by a slap up lunch at Wellington Barracks. You need a vast amount of enthusiasm and energy to do this job and Jim always manages beautifully. Later that day he attended the lighting of the Billericay Beacon - also in honour of Her Majesty's birthday.
|Our Town Crier in full voice outside St Mary's Church Billericay|