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.’