Garth:? true gent and ambassador

Having just returned home from a long stay abroad, I would like to share (as many others have) some of my many memories of my dear friend Garth Gibson.

Having just returned home from a long stay abroad, I would like to share (as many others have) some of my many memories of my dear friend Garth Gibson.

Our friendship started when he was suggested as the new town crier by Cllrs Brenda and John Taylor. Our first town crier, Nat Bradley - the baker - had resigned and I had approached John who declined due to his council work.

Nat had won the audition I had arranged, together with the Town Crier of Topsham, in the Magnolia Centre in 1996.

Upon the formation of the new town council, I had suggested to the mayor and full council that we should have a crier and was told to proceed. The robes and regalia were sponsored by The Rotary Club, Round Table and Lions with a donation from The Town Crier pub, then in Exeter Road.


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"I can only do this a few times in the year," Garth first told me but, when I called to see him with all the robes, tricorn hat, wig and bell, he had made up his mind 'to do the job properly' and had even contacted the National Guild of Criers to become a member.

I subsequently introduced Garth to the full town council at their next full meeting. I was criticised by a few of the public at the time for not having an audition, as with Nat, but as a councillor then, I was used to a bit of flak.

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A year later, the first expense for the town for this excellent role, was when we fitted Garth with new robes in Trafalgar Blue.

I still have Garth's life history obtained from his lovely wife, Marjorie, when I introduced him to the Rotary Club as our Citizen of the Year. What a life he had and what a good friend he became over those years.

Upon his passing, I was contacted by so many to tell me the sad news and congratulate the town for giving him such a send off. I am so pleased I telephoned him the afternoon I left Exmouth, as I always did when leaving.

I hope the town crier medallion I presented will continue with his successor, who I hope will carry out their duties in their way and I wish him or her all good wishes and, I am sure, all the good wishes and support from the people of Exmouth.

It is befitting to have some sort of trust or memorial for Garth, who was a true gentle man and touched the hearts, with great warmth and love, of all he met. O Yes! O Yes!!

Graham Kirby,

23 Roundhouse Lane, ?Exmouth.

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