A Wiltshire town has welcomed a new Town Crier and Beadle who both have big boots to fill.

Typically known as the person shouting 'oyez, oyez,' and reading town proclamations, a Town Crier is a historically important role that Marlborough has filled every year since 1204.

A Beadle on the other hand is a town official whose job is to summon Marlborough parishioners to various meetings and lead processions into church.

Marlborough has not had a separate Crier and Beadle since 2016, when Mike Tupman, known fondly as 'Tuppers', took on both roles for eight years before his death in January 2024.

Four months on, and the incoming Town Crier and Beadle Emma Kimber and Linda Illsey have paid tribute to Tuppers as they take on their new roles with pride.

READ MORE: Tributes after Marlborough Town Crier and former police constable dies

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Linda Illsey and Emma Kimber and Marlborough's new Beadle and Town Crier.Linda Illsey and Emma Kimber and Marlborough's new Beadle and Town Crier. (Image: Marlborough Town Council)

Although the role of Crier will be a new challenge for her, Emma said that she's no stranger to being in uniform.

She said: “I am very proud to be a member of the emergency services family including my dad, my father-in-law and both me and my husband, so I am used to uniforms and public service.

"As a result of my job I was lucky enough to meet and be good friends with the two previous Town Criers, Alf Johnson and Mike 'Tuppers' Tupman.

"I always joked with them that they needed to keep the Town Crier bell polished ready for when it was my turn.

"When we sadly lost Tuppers at the beginning of the year, his family encouraged and supported me with my application. I feel so very proud to be able to wear the uniform that he wore and feel that I have Alf and Tuppers watching over me as I take on my new role."

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Incoming Town Crier Emma hopes that Tuppers is still watching over her.Incoming Town Crier Emma hopes that Tuppers is still watching over her. (Image: Marlborough Town Council)

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But to Emma, her biggest supporter will always be her six-year-old daughter, who attended her first event waving a Union Jack flag proudly and reportedly views her mum as the Queen.

New Beadle Linda is also a familiar face to Marlborough residents, having worked in preschools in Marlborough for 22 years and regularly impersonating the fearsome Beadle from the film Oliver.

"Never in her wildest dreams did she think that one day she would be the Beadle for the town that she knows so well," said a spokesperson for Marlborough Town Council.

Both women made their debuts in their new roles at a ceremony held on Tuesday, April 30 to honour resident Robert Hiscox.

Although they have only been in the roles for a short time, both say they already feel that they've been welcomed with open arms.