The Singing Detective (Needs Your Vote)

singing detective

He may not be Michael Gambon, but this singing detective is in the frame to be one of VisitEngland’s annual Tourism Superstars.

The “police constable”, Guy Rowland, certainly fits the bill for the award. He has been nominated by the tourist board for the area, Discover Shropshire & Telford, which aims to grow tourism in the region over the next 10 years.

While in the “line of duty”, Guy takes over 250,000 people each year way back to the 1900s at the renowned tourist destination Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge. He plays a number of roles, including school teacher, drunken soldier and priest but, most popularly, the policeman.

He is also famed for playing songs on the piano and singing a merry tune.

The VisitEngland Tourism Superstar awards recognises unsung heroes who go above and beyond to ensure visitors in their area have an unforgettable experience.

Discover Shropshire & Telford is now preparing for the People’s Vote and have called on the nation to “Vote for Guy” and make him England’s Tourism Superstar.

Voting began on Saturday, March 7. You can cast your vote here.

Brilliant with visitors

Guy has been the Victorian town’s bobby for over 21 years. He can be seen patrolling the streets Blists Hill on his bicycle.

He chats about the “olden days”, “apprehend” misbehaving youngsters, and greets every staff member by their full name.

“To be in the finals for Tourism Superstar 2020 is testament to the incredible work that Guy Rowland does,” Carolyn Healy, Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy & World Heritage for Telford & Wrekin Council, said.

“And the clear fact that we deliver an unforgettable visitors experience.

“Guy is a tribute to our destination, and all our tourism heroes here that deliver unforgettable visitors experiences for our customers. To be part of this national competition is a point of great pride for us all.

“The awards come on the back of a really challenging time for Telford and Shropshire.

“This announcement provides an important reminder of what an amazing destination we have here. And how important visitors and the visitor economy is to us.”

“We want people to vote for him”

Nick Ralls, Chief Executive of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums (home to Blists Hill Victorian Town), agrees.

“This is a moment of celebration for the museums. It’s a recognition of the power of people in articulating the world famous story of our amazing destination.

“Guy Rowland has worked in the Ironbridge Gorge UNESCO World Heritage Site for over 21 years. For many he is as much of a landmark as the bridge, and we want people to vote for him.

“This is a bright moment for us, in what has been a challenging time with flooding.

“Two of our 10 museums flooded. But thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers, a recovery plan is underway to get them back up and running.

“Eight of the other museums, including Blists Hill, are still open. We’d like to encourage visitors to come along and support the museums, and of course see our singing detective, Guy.”

The winner of the People’s Vote will be announced on April 25 during English Tourism Week.

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Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.