Public support is good news for town crier Marcus after resignation shock

MARCUS Emms is reconsidering his decision to hang up his bell as Shaw and Crompton town crier after receiving overwhelming backing.

Family man Marcus, who famously received a personal request from Yoko Ono to attend the launch of her 2019 peace initiative, quit his role after dropping a perceived clanger on social media.

But calling his son ‘pikey’ on his personal Facebook page hadn’t offended a member of the public as he suspected.

And despite a private message of friendly advice from Borough and Parish councillor, Chris Gloster, to remove the description, the 50-year-old’s voluntary position for the Parish Council wasn’t under threat.

Now Marcus, who has spent hundreds of hours attending events across Shaw and Crompton as well as other parts of Oldham since his appointment in July 2018, is expected to carry on with his trademark ‘Oyez, Oyez’ greetings.

He only recently received an “Appreciation Award’ from Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ginny Alexander, in recognition for ‘cheering up’ residents as town crier but also for 17 years as Father Christmas.

Two years ago, Yoko, wife of Beatle John Lennon, rang Marcus from New York asking him to attend her Bells for Peace event as part of the Manchester International Festival.

“The last thing I wanted to do was to embarrass the Parish Council or bring my beloved home town into disrepute,” said proud Marcus currently recovering from surgery to treat glaucoma.

“So, I resigned because I thought I had offended someone. Instead, I was offered a piece of advice off a long-standing friend which led to an over reaction and misunderstanding.

“Some people have tried to make this political but I am politically neutral to any party. I am not a councillor; I am an unpaid volunteer.

“I have to use my annual leave from work to make appearances,” added Marcus who has since revealed ‘pet names’ as well for his wife and daughter.

“I make no apology for using these nicknames which are purely affectionate and even in public as a family we often refer to each other by them.

“My biggest regret about this whole sorry incident is the way that my go to councillor has been slammed for what is effectively a misunderstanding.”

Town Crier Marcus Emms, centre, with Dave Ferrier from Pure Innovations and former Mayor of Oldham Cllr Javid Iqbal at the opening of Dunwood Park Cafe in March 2019

Marcus will reflect on the events of the past few days this weekend but has confirmed his resignation hasn’t been accepted.

Lisa Navesey summed up the mood of many residents when she posted: “You bring so much to Shaw & Crompton.

“I got to know as you came to ring your bell for me after I collected money and went on donating hand creams to the NHS etc. You made me proud to be a Gawbie. Keep up the good work.”

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