MARLBOROUGH will be out in force on Tuesday to say goodbye to much loved former town crier Alfie Johnson who was born and bred in the town.

The funeral for Mr Johnson, who died aged 88 on May 7, will be at St Mary's Church at 11am.

Funeral director Daniel Claridge said: "Alf was a very well known man in the town and considered as Mr Marlborough. He was born in Marlborough and lived here all his life. During that time he has worked for many businesses in Marlborough and was the Town Crier for more than 20 years up until 2016."

Tributes to Mr Johnson have been led by former Marlborough Mayor Nick Fogg who said: "Everybody knew and loved Alfie Johnson. If you didn’t know him you couldn’t entirely claim to be from this town because he was Marlborough through and through.

"Apart from his period of National Service when he served as a bandsman with the Wiltshire Regiment, he lived here all his life - all the way from being born in Kingsbury Street on 20 December 1930.

"His life epitomised the town. He was an accomplished leather-worker with Chandler’s Saddlery. From his time as a postman, he knew every little ‘drang’ (as we might call it around here).

"He trod the boards with the Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society and as Tower Captain of the St Mary’s Bell Ringers he possessed an extensive knowledge of this intricate art."

Mr Johnson also played a main role when Prince Charles visited Marlborough in 2004. Mr Fogg said: "When Prince Charles came to Marlborough as part of the celebration of the 800thAnniversary of the granting of the Borough’s Charter, appropriately it was Alfie as town cryer who read out the challenge to the Cavalier Army.

"Alfie became a local celebrity in his own right and was invited to open such events as the sponsored swim at St Peter’s School. "

Mr Johnson was widowed when his wife and huge supporter Ann died in 2014. He leaves a daughter Di.