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Tributes paid to town crier who possessed an ‘unmistakable voice’

PUBLISHED: 14:00 12 October 2017

Ringing his bell - Felixstowe Town Crier Jimmy Wearne with his trophy for winning a town crier competition in Cheshire in 2004. Picture: JOHN KERR

Ringing his bell - Felixstowe Town Crier Jimmy Wearne with his trophy for winning a town crier competition in Cheshire in 2004. Picture: JOHN KERR

His was the best-known voice in Felixstowe – and it was heard all over the world.

Ringing out the news - Jimmy Wearne  joins Lesley Dolphin of BBC Radio Suffolk and Laura Holland-Astel of the Felixstowe Blue Cross and border collie Ringing out the news - Jimmy Wearne joins Lesley Dolphin of BBC Radio Suffolk and Laura Holland-Astel of the Felixstowe Blue Cross and border collie "Tim" at the Gosford Way bus stop in Old Felixstowe to celebrate the successful campaign to get the No76 bus to stop on the right side of the road. Picture: JOHN KERR

Jimmy Wearne was the resort’s Town Crier and not only made “shouts” to promote events and occasions in his home town, but travelled abroad, including to Canada and Australia, and all over the UK to compete against fellow criers.

Mr Wearne, known to his friends as Jim or Jimmy, was a much loved character, leading Felixstowe Carnival procession many times, and also involved in amateur dramatics with Felixstowe Musical Theatre (FMT) and Trimley Saints Players.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Wearne, possessor of an “unmistakable voice”, following his death, aged 87, at Highcliffe House Nursing Home.

Felixstowe mayor Nick Barber said: “Jim was a much loved resident of Felixstowe and for many years provided the unmistakable voice of the town as its crier. I will always remember him leading our carnival procession. He will be sadly missed.”

Felixstowe Town Crier Jimmy Wearne Felixstowe Town Crier Jimmy Wearne

His niece Yvonne Millard said his great passion was music and performing, and he was a keen golfer and member of Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, played football in his youth and was an enthusiastic skier in later life.

She said: “He was a keen supporter of the Felixstowe/Wesel Twin Town Association and often travelled with the group to Wesel, sometimes delivering a cry in German.

“Jimmy served for a period with the RAF and maintained an interest in the Armed Forces throughout his life, travelling up to London each year to march to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day.”

Mr Wearne’s neighbour Sue Kempster remembered him as a natural born performer, from singing to dancing and acting.

Jimmy starts a 'shout' for the Deben Jazz Band at the Felixstowe Golden Jubilee Festival. Picture: OWEN HINES Jimmy starts a 'shout' for the Deben Jazz Band at the Felixstowe Golden Jubilee Festival. Picture: OWEN HINES

She said: “Jim did hundreds of amazing things with his life, too many to list, and not a minute of his life was wasted.

“My partner and I have known Jim since we moved next door to him seven years ago. I joined him at FMT and we performed several shows together. We both feel honoured to have shared this time with this lovely, kind gentle, man.”

Mr Wearne was a toolmaker by trade and worked at Sangamo Weston, later Schlumberger.

A funeral service will take place on Wednesday, October 25 at 1.30pm at Seven Hills Crematorium.

Jimmy led the Felixstowe Carnival procession many times. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR Jimmy led the Felixstowe Carnival procession many times. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

In full cry - Jimmy Wearne. Picture: OWEN HINES In full cry - Jimmy Wearne. Picture: OWEN HINES

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