Exhibition to celebrate 40 years of town crier

An exhibition to celebrate 40 years of Shrewsbury's town crier will open at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in June.

Martin Wood, who stands at 7ft 2in (2.2m), is a well-known face in the town, who has announced events from parades to earthquakes over his four decades in the role.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a specially commissioned oil painting of Mr Wood in his blue, red and gold regalia, by Shropshire-based painter Jacob Gourley.

Mr Wood said he was "amazed and chuffed" to hear about the exhibition, though added that it reminded him of his age.

Speaking to BBC Radio Shropshire, Mr Wood recalled one announcement that stood out over his four decades in the role, leading the Queen mother's 100th birthday announcement outside Clarence House.

"For some unknown reason, I started singing happy birthday, and everyone around me just took it up," he said.

"As she came round in front of me in the carriage, she just looked straight at me and said: 'Thank you,'" he added.

Held in the museum's community gallery between 1 June and 23 June, it will also feature a life-size cut-out of the man himself, for the days he is unable to be there in person to sign autographs.

The exhibition will also tell the history of Shrewsbury's town criers.

It was curated by Katy Rink, editor of My Shrewsbury magazine, and town guide Maggie Love.

"He brings joy to this town, and if you’re coming to enjoy the heritage here, then you’re going to have a great time if you bump into Martin. He is our best icon," said Ms Love.

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