Beverley and district is blessed with many residents who contribute to the character of the region, going well beyond the confines of their ‘job-spec’ to make this area unique. Just Beverley is keen to know what makes these people tick! But we didn’t want to ask them the usual twenty questions - so here’s nineteen questions which we hope will reveal something about them which will surprise you! First up, Michael Wood, the East Riding Town Crier. His answer to Question 18 certain resulted in our comment - ‘Well I never...’
1. Do you consider yourself introvert or an extrovert? I’d say I am a part time extrovert. If in performing mode I like to be a showman. In a normal situation I remain normal - whatever normal is!
2. What’s the craziest thing you have ever done? Would you do it again? Once when in New Orleans in a serious music bar in Bourbon Street you could volunteer to do a turn. I did my Jimmy Hendrix bit on a house guitar and was booed off. I was hauled off almost. I’d do it again just to see the look on the faces of American tourists who I enjoyed winding up.
3. When was your biggest adrenaline rush? Aged nineteen, the first time I ever flew in an aircraft I had to jump out of it. I was in the army and had applied to be a paratrooper. Doing such things at an early age helped make me less scared of later challenges in life.
4. Is what you are doing now what you always wanted to do when you were growing up? When young I loved art and I had a talent for drawing; it gave me ideas of being an architect but academic qualifications were needed. I flunked school but luckily my education came later when I joined the army. After demob day I fell into the entertainment business and I must have had a secret ambition to be an entertainer and to have stuck with it because, unless you’re a bit of a star, it doesn’t pay particularly well - but it does offer immense job satisfaction.
5. Who were you closest to when you were growing up? My younger brother Graham. We were so alike. He sadly passed away aged thirty-five and I miss him every day.
6. Who is the one person you can talk to about anything? Myself - from whom I always seem to get the answer I want! But seriously it is my wife that I talk to, from whom I don’t always seem to get the answer I want...
7. What are you most thankful for? When working abroad I saw how tough it was for people living in less well-developed countries. I’m most thankful for the freedoms we have in Britain that we often take for granted.
8. What's on your bucket list for this year? I visited Venice in 1975 during a day off from military manoeuvres. Everything was outrageously expensive. I was only a Private back then on meagre wages and couldn’t afford to enjoy the café society I witnessed there. If I win the lottery I will travel first class with my wife on the Orient Express to Venice and sit for hours peoplewatching whilst indulging champagne and caviar in one of the swanky cafés in San Marko Square that boasts a private orchestra. I might even overtip the waiter.
9. If a genie granted 3 wishes, what would you wish for? First wish: for my kids to have wonderful lives. Second wish: to not be losing hair where I want it. Third wish: to not be growing hair where I don’t want it.
10. What's your idea of a perfect vacation? See question 8. But if staying in the UK it would always be Bournemouth from where each day I’d take off to go exploring the county of Dorset.
11. What do you think about when you are by yourself? My family. Life was chaotic for me growing up, but we had some wonderful laughs. My mam and dad are long gone now. I have outlived my two brothers and sisters. What I miss is having not having any of them left to remember with.
12. Do you judge a book by its cover? I’m afraid so, yes. I shouldn’t because I get the feeling others definitely do the same about me.
13. What's your favourite all time movie and why? I love westerns having been brought up them on as part of the Sunday afternoon bill of fayre in the 1960s. ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ is my favourite because of the humour, no over-the-top violence, a cracking story and watchable male and female actors. It’s a western yarn you can believe.
14. What would you do differently if you had your time again? I would have been born a decade earlier then I was, travelled to America and seen Elvis Presley perform live.
15. What would you change in Beverley and why? Extend the Beck to have it flow through the town if possible. Most great towns and cities have a river running through them that brings a gentrified romantic feel and would add another dimension to Beverley.
16. What was your most memorable birthday? My fortieth. It was a double celebration to reach this mid-life milestone and to mark my time up in the army after 22-years.
17. Favourite drink - alcohol or nonalcoholic? I love a whiskey on the rocks, but it can be too moreish. I therefore tend to opt out of the optics for a pint which lasts longer. A perfect pint is a pint of real ale.
18. Biggest achievement - sporting, hobby or past-time? My first success at anything major in life was winning the Second Millennium World Town Crier Championship. It was held in Ghent, Belgium in the year 2000. The follow up competition will be in the year 3000, which means until then I own the title for a thousand years! To defend it I will have to ensure my ashes and a tape recording of my voice are held in the East Riding Council vaults for them to offer me up as a contestant when it is next held, ha!
19. How would you describe yourself in one sentence? Someone who will give anything a go - even becoming a politician, which is really saying something.
Michael Wood is available for Proclamations for All Occasions. Contact him on Mobile: 07770 372999.