Shropshire Star

Jez is right man for important job at Severn Valley Railway

Jez was the man when it came to announcing the start of the Queen's jubilee celebrations in Bridgnorth, and it's not the first time semi- professional actor has worked at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR).

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Town Crier Jez Mann

Shrewsbury-based Jez played Father Christmas over four weekends at the popular attraction last Christmas.

The railway works with Bridgnorth based Reach Out Arts who provide entertainment and displays for various events at different stations.

They provided pre-departure entertainment at Bridgnorth Station for Steam in Lights as well as a Christmas show at Arley that formed part of the Santa Train experience, with Jez handing out the presents,

Jez got the weekend officially underway with a proclamation about the event and why it was taking place on the platform of Bridgnorth Station yesterday, with hundreds of visitors listening to his every word.

A licensed town crier, the robes he used were provided with the approval of Shropshire Council.

He is also a toast-master at weddings and hosts auctions as well as taking part in drama workshops but he admitted the prospect of doing the proclamation was quite daunting.

He said: "The last time I worked with the railway was as Santa Claus in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

"As Santa Claus doesn't work all year round I need to find extra work so when this came up it was exciting if a bit nerve wracking at first.

"You have to be an approved town crier, you can't just rock up and do it and there aren't that many of us so there is a lot to live up to.

"To shout the proclamation on such an important occasion was quite daunting even though I have done many of these before but I hope I did the Queen justice.

"I love doing this kind of work and have been all over the county and beyond with it - my day job takes me more towards Birmingham so it is nice to be able to get out and about in Shropshire in my spare time."

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