Shropshire Star

Woodworm crisis solved when Wellington's town crier got a handle on the issue

If you are a town crier in Shropshire the last thing you want to do is drop a clanger.

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Town crier Steve Warwood, left, with Dorothy Roberts, Mayor of Wellington and Jeremy Baily, chief ale taster

So when Wellington's man of the bell and loud voice Steve Warwood discovered woodworm in the handle of his vital instrument he just had to get it repaired.

Steve, who became the town crier in 2022, enlisted a colleague at Small Woods Association to repair the handle.

He performs civic duties throughout the year, including Charter Day at the weekend, local fairs, and Remembrance Sunday.

He is also the Business Systems and Quality Assurance Officer at Small Woods Association, a UK wide organization for woodland stewardship and care, who manage social forestry projects and promote sustainable management of small woodlands for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Tom Dillon, Woodland Management and Training Co-ordinator at Small Woods said “I was more than happy to help and after acquiring a piece of suitable green oak, began making the handle at the Green Wood Centre in Coalbrookdale, where I’m based.

Participants on a course at The Green Wood Centre

"The new handle was axed, shaved, and turned entirely by hand and foot power before my good friend and master blacksmith Richard Eaton, who teaches knife making courses at the centre, helped to re-drill the hole and polish the bell.”

The refurbished bell made a successful debut at the annual Charter Day Festival on Saturday March 4 in Wellington.

Small Woods run a wide range of green woodworking, traditional craft and sustainable woodland management courses. For more information, visit:

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