Mike Tupman MBE, formerly Marlborough’s well-loved and respected Special Constable was installed this evening as the Town Cryer at a short ceremony in the Town Hall prior to the main Council meeting.
Mike was welcomed into the role by the Mayor, Councillor Margaret Rose, who also paid great thanks to Mike’s predecessor as Town Cryer, Alfie Johnson, who has been swinging the bell and making public pronouncements for the past twenty one years.
“We are delighted to have appointed someone of such high calibre” pronounced the Mayor, adding “we are sure that the whole town will embrace such a well-liked character as a fine representative for Marlborough”.
Mike is well known around the town having only retired from the post of Special Constable in December last year. He was awarded the title of ‘Special Constable of the Year’ in 2002 and again in 2006, followed by the Police Authority Shield for service to the community in 2007, and an MBE in 2013 for his service to the Wiltshire Community.
The Town Cryer’s role will also embrace that of Beadle and he will lead ceremonial processions to civic events. He’s following in a very long tradition, Marlborough has had a Town Cryer for several hundred years and can even boast the Champion Town Cryer of Great Britain as one of Mike’s predecessors, when Marlborough’s Mr Angliss took that title leading to the event being staged in Marlborough the following year.
Not only will Mike be able to bellow out at the top of his voice around Marlborough, when he needs sustenance and the voice starts getting croaky he can fall back on one of the additional subsidiary roles of Town Cryer, that of Official Ale Taster. This role requires him to visit every one of Marlborough’s public houses where he will be expected to taste each publican’s ale to judge it’s quality. Nowhere does it appear to specify exactly how much has to be sampled in each pub, or how frequently the ‘sampling’ process has to be repeated, but enough to keep the vocal cords in good order for the demands of the Oyez!