A LAKES village is not only preparing for Pancake Tuesday festivities - but also to bid farewell to a popular voice.

Tony Legge has been a regular fixture as a town crier for almost two decades.

Mr Legge was a town crier at Abingdon in Oxfordshire, where he lives and where his wife used to be mayor.

He said he was initially ‘loaned out’ to Troutbeck to perform crier duties at a number of events, including the annual pancake race to mark Shrove Tuesday, which began just after the millennium.

But what started as a one-off volunteer effort has rolled over into almost twenty years of full-throated proclamations, making Mr Legge a recognised and well-loved figure.

This year’s Shrove Tuesday races will see a number of groups pace through the town, along with flipping competitions. There will be separate mens’, ladies’, veterans’, toddlers’ and hotels’ races.

Aside from overseeing the annual Pancake Tuesday celebrations, Mr Legge said he has also lent his services to a number of Women’s Institute events among others.

“I’m approaching 80 years of age now," he said, "so running up and down the streets of Troutbeck is getting a bit beyond me.

“I was a very keen mountain climber in my younger days. So that’s where my fondness for the area began. I used to travel across from County Durham, where I hail from originally, and go up the Lakes every other weekend.”

Mr Legge hopes that another seasoned mountaineer, Steve Watts, who he says has volunteered to act as his assistant temporarily, will ultimately succeed him in the role.

In 2016, Mr Watts made the world record books when he became the first ever person fitted with a pacemaker to complete the Everest Marathon.

Even if Mr Watts cannot be persuaded to take up the role on a more permanent basis, Mr Legge is confident a capable successor.

“If you walk through the fields around Troutbeck, you can hear plenty of farmers and shepherds who can be heard for hundreds of yards,” he explained.

“I’m sure it won’t take long to find a suitable replacement.”