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Shrewsbury Town Crier Rings the Bell for Shrewsbury in London (17th February 2014)

Shrewsbury Town Crier Rings the Bell for Shrewsbury in London

Martin Wood, Shrewsbury's larger than life town crier, was filmed in London on Friday (14/02/14), as he prepares to go head to head against nine other shortlisted nominees from around the country for the title of Tourism Superstar 2014.

VisitEngland has teamed up with national newspaper, The Daily Mirror to host an online public vote to crown the winner.  From 1 – 21 March, a short film of all nominees will be found on www.mirror.co.uk/tourismsuperstar where readers can vote for their favourite. 

Claire Owen from Shropshire Tourism, who accompanied Martin to London for filming, said, “Martin did a fantastic job and we can’t wait to see the finished video. We would encourage everyone to vote for him from 1st March.”

“Martin caused quite a stir in London, especially outside Buckingham Palace where tourists wanted their photograph taken with him. Naturally we took the opportunity to give them a Shrewsbury brochure and encourage them to visit Shropshire, as well as asking them to vote for Martin of course!”

The tourism accolade was launched 2 years ago as part of English Tourism Week (this year running 29 March – 6 April).  The award recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a priceless experience. 

Simon McCloy, Chief Executive of Shropshire Tourism, who nominated Martin for the award said "To say Martin is a larger than life character is absolutely true – standing at a mere 7ft2in he is the world's tallest town crier.  He has represented Shrewsbury for over 27 years and provides a unique and personal guided tour service to visitors from all over the world. Everyone at Shropshire Tourism is delighted that Martin has been shortlisted for Tourism Superstar 2014 and we would encourage everyone in the county to really get behind him and show their support."

Shrewsbury Town Council is busy preparing a 'Vote Martin' banner and posters to put up around Shrewsbury when voting opens on 1st March. Commenting on being shortlisted, Martin said, "To say I'm chuffed is a bit of an understatement! How can a seven footer be short listed?! Thank you to everyone for all their support so far."

The winner will be announced on March 29, the first day of English Tourism Week and will be invited to attend VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence held in May this year where their Award will be presented to them in person.

The shortlist includes nine other representatives from across England: Dickon Allen, Montacute House National Trust in Somerset; Buzby Allen, Potters Resort in Norfolk; Ade Andrews, The Robin Hood Town Tour in Nottingham; John Consterdine, Manchester Taxi Tour in Manchester; Rob Dean, Where the Wall in Bristol; Sandy Griffiths, VisitBlackpool Tourism Information Centre; Fraser Hicks, Captain of the Sea King, Isles of Scilly; John and Helen Hogg, Stratford Town Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon; and Walter Stewart-Brown, Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park in The Oxfordshire Cotswolds.

Photo: Martin rings bell outside Big Ben in London