Hear ye, hear ye: Our town crier is 80!

Bob played guitar and sang for his friends and family at his 80th birthday celebration. Pictures: JESS BAKER

By Jess Baker

Southern Downs and Granite Belt Town Crier Bob Townshend celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday, Wednesday 9 June.

Bob has volunteered his booming voice and bell-ringing expertise to the region for the last decade, and boasts a string of accolades for his outstanding abilities.

The Dalveen resident has placed first in the senior section at the Australian National Town Crier Championships three times, has placed third three times, has won best dressed, and has attended several World Town Crier Championships.

“Two years ago, I won world champion caller,” Bob said.

“It’s just amazing what has come from being the town crier.”

Bob was named Southern Downs Citizen of the Year in 2018, in recognition of his outstanding service to the community, and has even once presented a greeting from the mayor of the Southern Downs to the mayor of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Town crier career aside, the Yorkshireman is widely known for his affable nature and his musical prowess.

Bob has been a folk singer since he was just 18 years old and ran a popular folk club at O’Mahoney’s Hotel in Warwick until not too long ago.

On Sunday 6 June, at Bob’s 80th birthday party, his nearest and dearest were treated to a private concert of folk songs performed by Bob and his friends, including brothers Ken and Mike O’Flaherty.

It was a wonderful celebration of one of the Southern Downs’ best. Happy birthday Bob!