Mr Town Crier, as Warminster’s Town Crier, Rick Johnstone, would prefer to be anonymously known, has harboured a desire to get dressed up, put-on his stockings, don the tricorn (his hat!) and cry around town for some time! So, when the opportunity to audition for the honorary role arose in September 2022, Rick grabbed it with both hands (avec bell, gloves and scroll!).
As a boy growing-up in Manchester, Rick enjoyed singing in the choir and acting in school drama productions. Later, as a PE and English teacher, he always viewed his job as entailing a ‘performance’. Later still, when responsible for training teachers, he always encouraged his students to tap into their creative and expressive side when delivering information and knowledge. And now, as Warminster Town Crier, he has the opportunity to become the Purveyor of Proclamations, the Narrator of News and Laureate of Local Information.
As well as this new adventure, Rick has been involved in the Wonderful World of Swimology for some 40 years – he runs learn-to-swim programmes with his wife, Sarah. In Summer 2023, Westbury Swimarium, their new venture – a Water Palace of children’s and adults learning – opened its doors to all.
Family-wise, it was only in July 2023 that father of four Rick, and Sarah finally put-down roots in Warminster, a town they had been exceptionally fond of since first attending Warminster Saddle Club 15 years previously with their daughters, Bella and Reli, when they lived in Hilperton. In the meantime, they have lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, London and Westbury. The girls are now grown and away at university, and Rick’s sons Dan and Harry live in London and Cumbria respectively, but Rick and Sarah have settled in Warminster and plan to stay.
Rick sees his Town Crier’s role as the perfect opportunity to become involved with the local community and to get to know people in the town, plus use his role to support local charitable causes when required. He recently cried for the Multiple Sclerosis Christmas Tombola – and he’d love to do lots more events like this! For him, it’s also the perfect opportunity for the expression of the communication principles he has been applying in various teaching settings for many years.
‘Mr Town Crier’ can be contacted for cries for all charitable organisations, openings and events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warminster Town Crier, Minster Church Fete, Saturday 24th at Warminster School.