Dorset Flag Group donates £1000 to Air Ambulance Service

Dorset Flag Group donates £1000 to Air Ambulance ServiceThe group who promoted the winning entry in last year’s competition to find a Dorset flag has donated £1000 to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Service.

The Dorset Flag Group which includes Jacquie Hall, Town Crier of Wareham, Chris Brown, Town Crier of Wimborne and Dorset flag designer Dave White were given a tour of the facilities located at Henstridge Airfield in Somerset and saw the Air Ambulance crew in action as a call came in during the presentation.

Tracy Bartram – fundraising coordinator for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance was delighted to receive the cheque for £1000, stating ’It’s amazing how the public support us in so many different ways.  Having a flag for Dorset is fantastic.  The fact that money raised from selling the flag is helping the air ambulance continue to fly is even better.  We need to raise in excess of £1.2m a year, and this goes to show that people can help us by raising funds in so many different ways.’

Funds had been raised from the sale of the groups winning flag entry ‘St Wite’s Cross’ during last years campaign to see Dorset’s first ever county-wide flag elected. A previous £500 had been donated to Wimborne Minster’s Priest House in November 2008.

Dave White stated “We’d always intended to give surplus funds from the campaign back to local charities and the Air Ambulance Service seems a highly appropriate one, given that it is entirely funded by donation.”

The group left behind flags, stickers and badges to pass around the crew, noting that the helicopter and the flag matched somewhat.

Attached picture:
Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance crew members are pictured with (L-R)Tracy Bartram, Chris Brown, Jacquie Hall and front, Dave White.

Contact :  Dave White : 07500 918 477

Wimborne town crier Chris Brown reunited with stolen bell

Town Crier reunited with stolen bellA Dorset town crier has been reunited with his handbell after it was stolen.

Chris Brown, Wimborne’s town crier, said the bell was in a bag which was taken while he was DJing in a pub earlier this month. The missing bag and bell, which has little financial value, were left anonymously, close to Mr Brown’s car, on Sunday. He said he was “very happy” after it appeared an amnesty had led to the culprit having a change of heart.

Mr Brown said: “I really never thought it would appear again but some friends were calling and found the missing bag and bell by the rear of my car. I promised an amnesty which appears to have enabled the prankster to relieve their conscience and am a very happy town crier.”

The 11ins (30cm) high military-issue handbell, which has an iron clapper, dates from World War I when it was used for gas attack warnings. The bell is used to accompany Mr Brown’s “cries” around the town and at national and international gatherings. He had notified local scrap and antique dealers to keep an eye out following the theft.

Read the article on the BBC Dorset website (published 25 June 2012)

Wimborne town crier’s handbell is stolen

Town Criers Bell is StolenA Dorset town crier is appealing for his handbell to be returned after it was stolen.

Chris Brown, Wimborne’s town crier, said the bell was in a bag which was taken while he was DJing in a pub. The 11 inch (30cm) high military-issue handbell, which has an iron clapper, dates from World War I when it was used for gas attack warnings.

Mr Brown said: “It’s extremely loud. I want to get it back, it’s been everywhere with me.”
The bell is used to accompany Mr Brown’s “cries” around the town and at national and international gatherings.

He added that local scrap and antique dealers had been notified but the bell had little financial worth.

Read the article on the BBC Dorset website (published 13 June 2012)

How many miles to the galleon in that?

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Town crier transforms his mobility scooter into a PIRATE SHIP!

A town crier was stunned when friends pimped his mobility scooter and turned it into a 17th century galleon.

Alex and John Compani borrowed Chris Brown’s wheeled machine for four days and transformed it into an old pirate ship as a surprise. Delighted with his new-look buggy, the 55-year-old town crier now ‘sails’ through Wimborne, Dorset, wearing his gown and ceremonial hat and shouting the news to onlookers. He has named his scooter, which has a top speed of seven knots (8mph), the Black Pig after Captain Pugwash’s ship.

Mr Brown said: ‘Alex and John asked to borrow my scooter for a couple of days and said they had a surprise for me. I knew they were up to something but had no idea what. I burst out with laughter when I saw it. It looks fantastic. The ship was meant to have just been for the childrens’ Christmas parade in Wimborne that I led but I have had such a good reaction to it that I have decided to keep it as it is.’

Mr Brown, a social worker, suffered polio when he was a child and has had a number of operations on his legs. He recently acquired the scooter and Alex and John commandeered it to transform it to cheer him up. The brothers built a wooden frame around the scooter to form the super-structure of the miniature boat. They nailed on boards of plywood to form the sides and stern and had to use cardboard to act as the curved bow. They then painted the structure dark brown to give the impression of weathered wood.

Alex, 36, said: ‘Because Chris often wears his ceremonial hat and coat and has a long beard, his appearance lended itself to a 17th century galleon. We thought it would be very fitting.

‘Chris has recently had an operation on his foot and got the scooter after that. We just wanted to cheer him up and thought this was the best way of doing it. We did it in secrecy in a workshop. We just told him we were going to dress it up but he had no idea what it was going to be.’

Chris and Alex belong to a re-enactmnent group called the Wimborne Militia that re-enacts the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion.
Chris, who is married to wife Anne and has four children, added: ‘We also have a commission from Wimborne Town Council to protect and defend the honour of the town.

‘We are one of only two private armies in the country. So if we were invaded I would help defend the River Stour. People absolutely love it – especially the children.’

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