London’s local hero: meet the royal town crier
I’m Tony Appleton, the town Crier. I was born in a village called Chelmsford in Essex.
And you’re the town crier, is that right?
Yeah. My claim to fame is that I announced the birth of Prince William’s children and Harry’s engagement and wedding. I’ve been doing it for 33 years, so a long time now. I have been recognised, the royal family have actually put me in a book called Royal Babies, so they know who I am.
How did you get into your line of work?
I just turned up! I’m a huge fan of the Royals– always have been. I’m very proud to be British. I was in the Royal Navy for seven years so I’ve served my country as you might say. I first met Her Majesty the Queen when I was a boy seaman during the Seuz Crisis. She came on board. I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that there’s now gonna be a King and not a Queen.
What’s been your favourite career moment?
Well, I’ve had many, many, many favourite moments. I’m also a professional toastmaster and when the Queen Mother was alive, on her birthday I presented her with a Nebuchadnezzar, which is 20 bottles of champagne.
So how have people responded to your work? What’s the feedback been like?
I mean, I am the town crier! I always travel with my uniform, so I’m quite noticeable as you might say.
ââWhat do you love most about your job?
Meeting people, young and old. It keeps me active, I’m getting older but this keeps me active. This is important to me. I also train everyday. I just did 50 lengths at my local swimming club.
Wear a uniform! If you walk around in uniform you will meet so many people. It’s crazy.
Where do you get your uniform form from?
I had it made. The uniform was made in Saint Albans by a tailor that’s called Goldings House. They make the uniforms for the royal family, for some of the soldiers. So I had it made by them. It was quite an expensive one but it weighs 8 kilos. It’s very, very heavy with all the badges on it!
Who’s the best dressed royal?
Well that would have to be William. I’m a big fan, I can’t wait until he is king. Him and Kate are British royalty to me.
What would you do if you were king for the day?
If I was king for the day I would try and raise as much money as possible to give to charity. I’m a big fundraiser, I’ve held charity discos and runs for the Guide Dogs and the blind. I believe in helping people.
What is something you’ve always wanted to learn?
Well, it’s not something I want to learn but what I’ve always wanted to do is have my picture taken with David Beckham and Rod Stewart. One of my hobbies is being photographed with the famous. I have a book Now or Never and I’ve got quite a few 100 pictures with famous people, so I have always wanted to take one with them.
What is your London secret?
Wear a uniform! If you walk around in uniform you will meet so many people. It’s crazy. Everybody wants their photograph taken with me when I’m in London. I get people saying crazy things to me all the time. You can imagine can’t you?
Who is your local hero?
Andy Roe, the Commissioner for the London Fire Brigade, I like him, he does a hell of a lot for the service, the community and the city.
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