Well-known booming voice and familiar face enter Nuneaton and Bedworth history books

They are among 12 people whose service has been honoured in Nuneaton and Bedworth

A well-known booming voice and a familiar face have entered Nuneaton and Bedworth’s history books. Their names may not be as well-known but Paul Gough’s voice and Murray Richards’ presence are something very familiar in the borough.

Mr Gough has been the town crier for 36 years while Mr Richards is the parade marshall for Nuneaton’s Remembrance Sunday and Bedworth Armistice Day parades. The pair have joined a band of men with a very special honour – Freeman of the Borough.

They were among 12 to be recognised during a special honour’s ceremony at the Town Hall, including Oscar-nominated director Gareth Edwards, Frank Parker and trailblazing women – Carol Valentine, Julie Earnshaw and Abeda Suleman Vorajee, MBE. They are now Freewomen of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough.

Murray Richards

The Nuneaton resident is the face of Remembrance in the borough. He leads the important Nuneaton Remembrance and Bedworth Armistice parades, walking right at the front of both.

Having served 18 years in the Army and a number of years in the reserve army as a warrant officer, he joined the regimental association of Nuneaton and this soon extended to joining the committees that organise the borough’s proud remembrance events. He has clocked up hundreds of hours in helping not only with all matters military but also doing his level best to make sure that the borough’s fallen sons, including Sergeant Simon Valentine and Fusilier Louis Carter, are remembered.

He also helps to organise and finances of funerals, making sure Standards Bearers are present. He is the president of the Nuneaton branch of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers association and the only non-commissioned officer of the county association trust, to which he brings sound advice.

Paul Gough

Paul Gough occupies a post that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years and in his 36 years as the borough’s town crier, he has made a huge impact. Many will know his face from Christmas light switch-ons, with his ‘oyezs’ and also the big countdown.

He also gave ‘cries’ at the the late Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, the Golden Jubilee and the Platinum Jubilee, announced the accession of HM The King, as well as his coronation. But it is not just in the borough that his voice is known.

He has also represented the area on the international stage. He has won the title of commonwealth champion as well as town crier competitions in the UK.

On accepting his award, he admitted not being a native Nuneaton and Bedworth – he is Manchester born and bred but moved to Nuneaton to set up home. But he says the borough then became his second home in many ways.

“I grew up in a very rough area of Manchester but I worked very hard, got an education and left and only ever returned as a visitor,” he said. “But it was this borough that enabled me to achieve my dream. The motto of this borough, ‘united to achieve’.

“This borough was ready to help me achieve my ambition at that time. It was my dream to be able to purchase a house for my family with an indoor toilet,” he joked.