HEAR YE: Bob Townshend has been nominated for a community hero award.
HEAR YE: Bob Townshend has been nominated for a community hero award. Jonno Colfs

Town crier may be a local hero

IF the Queensland Community Achievement Awards judges see Bob Townshend as the Southern Downs does, come November, he may well win an award for being a community hero.

Mr Townshend, is the official Southern Downs town crier, a role he fills with passion and vigour.

He's good at it too - at the 2016 town crier nationals at Redlands Bay, Mr Townshend took out the title as the best senior crier in the country.

On being nominated for the Australia Pacific LNG Community Hero Award Mr Townshend said it was humbling to know his work was appreciated.

"It's a whole lot of fun for me and I've come to love the role," he said.

"I get to interact with locals and tourists and tell them all about our amazing region.

"I guess I'm doing my little bit for Southern Downs tourism."

Mr Townshend landed the town crier job about seven years when he was on the Warwick Tourism and Events board. He was volunteered to fill the role at an event and soon after was given the role officially by the Southern Downs Regional Council.

"I thought, if I'm going to do it, I'll want to do it properly," he said.

"I asked council to help me with the costs of my town crier's outfit, which they did.

"I'm from Whitby, in the north of England, Captain Cook's home town, so I thought I'd model myself on the clothes he would have worn, and I had them made in green and gold for Australia."

Mr Townshend was born into a family of policemen and was expected to be the same, so much so they named him Bobby.

"I joined the London Metropolitan Police but didn't like it - it wasn't for me - I eventually became a bookseller and moved to Australia to take a job with Angus and Robertson.

"On retirement I settled on the Southern Downs because it's a fabulous part of the world and now I get to talk about it to everyone I meet."