Marlborough’s 81-year-old town crier survives a stroke thanks to a passing ambulance
Marlborough’s Mayor Edwina Fogg is heading for the Great Western Hospital on Friday to see 81-year-old Town Crier Alfie Johnson, who is in the Swindon hospital recovering from a stroke.
He was taken to the intensive care unit almost instantly after the attack on Monday by an ambulance passing by his home in the London after a visitor caught him as he collapsed and then dialled 999.
“He is such a resilient and wonderful character that I am sure he will bounce back,” Councillor Fogg told Marlborough News Online. “I am hoping to visit him on Friday now that he is in an ordinary ward and cheer him up.”
“I sent a note to his wife Annie after I heard about the stroke. He was so fortunate that an ambulance was virtually passing his door shortly after he collapsed and paramedics were able to pick him up so quickly.”
Mr Johnson, born and brought up in Marlborough, has been Town Crier for the past 18 years, his ringing the bell at civic events during that period making him well known throughout the community.
Councillor Fogg and her husband, Nick, who has twice been Mayor of Marlborough, have known Mr Johnson for much of his time as Town Crier.
“He is such a colourful character whom we have got to know very well since we became involved in the town council,” she said. “He is loved by everyone and we are all wishing him a speedy recovery.”
Mr Johnson’s career has included being a shoe repairer, saddler, postman and supermarket shelf stacker before retirement. Since then he has carried out voluntary work and even played Santa every Christmas in a local care home.