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Romford Town Crier Tony Appleton faces a challenge from rival Rainham crier

PUBLISHED: 16:09 22 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:10 22 November 2012

Romford Town Crier Tony Appleton

Romford Town Crier Tony Appleton

Archant

»His booming voice has been heard by thousands of people in Havering, but Romford's Town crier Tony Appleton looks set to get a challenge to his position.

Harry Matthews, 83 from Main Road, Romford, said that Romford needed a town crier that lived in the borough and he even offered to do the job for free at the Havering Community Questions session on Monday.

He said: “At the moment Havering Council are employing a town crier that lives in Chelmsford – but I have lived in Havering for most of my life and I have more knowledge of the area than he does.”

Harry, who is the town crier for Rainham, quizzed Leader of the Council, Michael White about Romford’s town crier at the first of the council’s new public forums.

Savings

Cllr White said: “It is something that we have looked at over the years, but it is difficult to justify making cuts and then employing a town crier who lives in the borough. How could we pay for this when we have to make these savings?”

Harry, who is the chairman of the Torchlight Carnival Association of Havering, said that he felt that it was important that the town crier lived in the area, before volunteering to take on the job.

Harry said: “I think it is about time that this borough had its own town crier, but at the moment you are employing someone that lives in Chelmsford.

“We need someone that knows Havering and will do a good job.”

Tony Appleton, 76 became Romford’s first town crier 12 years ago.

He is well known in the town for having a larger than life character with a bell and a voice to match.

Earlier this year he was chosen from 10,000 people to close the London 2012 Olympics.

Tony, who is also the town crier for Walthamstow, Ingatestone and Bury St Edmunds said that he would not give up his role without a fight.

He said: “It doesn’t matter that I don’t live in the area, he hasn’t got the strength that I have. I walk three to four hours a day and I am so fit.”

He said: “I get the crowds going and I drum up the support, and if he wants to take that away from me then I challenge him to a shouting match.”

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