Watch: Town crier delivers surprise Christmas message

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw with her son Robin, daughter Matilda, and husband David, received a surprise Christmas message...

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw with her son Robin, daughter Matilda, and husband David, received a surprise Christmas message on their doortstep. - Credit: Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw

A Suffolk family received an unexpected Christmas present following a surprise doorstep message sent by loved ones.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and her family were greeted on Christmas Day by bells ringing outside their front door in Georges Road, in Beccles.

The surprise, courtesy of Mr Brambley-Crawshaw's parents Terry and Elaine Crawshaw, who live in Canwick, Lincoln, was delivered at lunchtime by an "unofficial" town crier.

On December 19, the prime minister Boris Johnson announced changes to Christmas plans, with "Christmas bubbles" of up to three households only be allowed to gather on December 25, resulting in many families changing their plans.

The crier said: "To you Elfrede, to you David, to you Matilda, and to you Robin, a very merry holiday. May your festivities be fine and your hangovers benign. Oyez! Oyez! All is well, sort of, Merry Christmas." 

Mrs Brambley-Crawshaw, who is a county councillor for Beccles, said: "It was a lovely fun thing to happen on Christmas Day: just exactly what is needed at the moment - some light relief.

"We saw them in July when the restrictions briefly lifted, but usually we would see them very regularly. Of course there was no hugging when we met which is particularly difficult for the children. 

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It was so lovely to get a personalised message from an actual person rather than on a computer screen. Usually at Christmas we would see all our family members including our parents and siblings, we would travel to see everyone and it would be a prolonged celebration of visiting people and staying at their houses.

"This year has been very different but we are very happy to abide by restrictions and do our bit to ensure that we reduce the transmission of the virus."

Delivering the message was Beccles "Unofficial" town crier Yanny Mak along with Hannah Cairns as his escort, who cry at events in the town and for independent retails at official openings.

Mr Mak said: "We cried for about 30 people on Christmas Day. We put out requests on social-media prior to the big day, and offered free shout-outs to anyone who wanted it.
It was all about spreading some cheer at this difficult time of year. The general public all got involved (albeit at a safe distance), and we felt that it engendered a community spirit that may've been lost due to fear, worry, or isolation."

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