Tuneful Jack gives shoppers a treat

This Is Wiltshire: Jack Townsend with his grandmother Sheelagh Ryan in Marks and Spencers Jack Townsend with his grandmother Sheelagh Ryan in Marks and Spencers

SHOPPERS at one of Swindon’s most popular stores are being stopped in their tracks by the musical talents of Jack Townsend, a Christmas temp operating the tills.

The 22-year-old, of Lomond Close, Sparcells, grew up in Swindon and began a promising career on the stage in 1995, with a child’s role in a West End performance of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

He’s now working the tills and stacking shelves at M&S in Regent Street, after being taken on as a temporary member of staff for the busy Christmas period.

Jack began his job in the store on Wednesday, after returning from an around the world cruise ship tour with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. However singing was not in the job description.

Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra numbers were not on the agenda when Jack had his interview for a job at the store, but when he mentioned his past entertainer roles on cruise ships and stages, store manager Debbie Lock had an idea.

“I came back looking for work in the break I have between spells on the cruise ships,” said Jack.

“I mentioned in the interview that my previous job was as a singer and eventually they got me singing out here for charity.” The performer has been kitted out in a suit from the store’s racks and is captivating people with his array of Christmas classics, with those most impressed dropping money into a bucket in front of him, which will go to M&S’s chosen charity The Guide Dogs For The Blind.

As of 3pm on Friday, two and a half days after starting singing , he had raised £700 for the charity.

He is set to continue singing until January 4.

“I’m just doing my job; it’s nice to do it for charity,” said Jack. “It’s nice to see all the shoppers smiling as they pass.

“A few people have said how shocked they were to see me singing because they thought it was a record when they first heard it.”

Jack also said his mother had been swept off her feet by his new position and was very proud of him.

In store with Jack yesterday were his grandparents, John and Sheelagh Ryan, 70 and 66 respectively, of Hughes Street in Rodbourne.

Sheelagh said: “We are biased, but we think he’s brilliant. “He’s wasted here and on the cruise ships. When you watch The X Factor you wonder why he isn’t doing it.

“People have been coming through, dancing about and smiling. We haven’t heard any negative things about it.”

M&S’s regional manager heard the singer and the shop’s growing popularity with Christmas shoppers and visited on Thursday. The store is becoming known throughout the chain for its singer and his microphone.

Jack returns to the cruise ships in April next year.

Comments (7)

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9:13am Sat 14 Dec 13

Morsey says...

What a smashing gesture by all, especially Jack ... just the musical genre the M & S customers will be accustomed to ... (wink,wink) ... now, for some rock 'n' roll up town ... that would be nice for we 'silver chavs' ennit?
What a smashing gesture by all, especially Jack ... just the musical genre the M & S customers will be accustomed to ... (wink,wink) ... now, for some rock 'n' roll up town ... that would be nice for we 'silver chavs' ennit? Morsey

9:29am Sat 14 Dec 13

Davethered says...

How pleasing it is to have such a nice story in the paper for a change , and something good for the shoppers of Swindon. ( Feeling happy ) Will definitely visit M@S next week.
How pleasing it is to have such a nice story in the paper for a change , and something good for the shoppers of Swindon. ( Feeling happy ) Will definitely visit M@S next week. Davethered

5:35pm Sat 14 Dec 13

street2000 says...

Singer good but it won't change a rubbish shop where old fogeys shop
Singer good but it won't change a rubbish shop where old fogeys shop street2000

7:57pm Sat 14 Dec 13

house on the hill says...

street2000 wrote:
Singer good but it won't change a rubbish shop where old fogeys shop
not that you are a bigot at all then!
[quote][p][bold]street2000[/bold] wrote: Singer good but it won't change a rubbish shop where old fogeys shop[/p][/quote]not that you are a bigot at all then! house on the hill

8:47am Sun 15 Dec 13

Always Grumpy says...

street2000 wrote:
Singer good but it won't change a rubbish shop where old fogeys shop
What a ludicrous statement.
[quote][p][bold]street2000[/bold] wrote: Singer good but it won't change a rubbish shop where old fogeys shop[/p][/quote]What a ludicrous statement. Always Grumpy

7:45pm Sun 22 Dec 13

GalaxyMan says...

Heard this lad today- he's very talented. I'd buy a CD if he did one.
Heard this lad today- he's very talented. I'd buy a CD if he did one. GalaxyMan

12:49pm Wed 8 Jan 14

jackyt9 says...

GalaxyMan wrote:
Heard this lad today- he's very talented. I'd buy a CD if he did one.
Hello Everyone, Thank you for your kind comments. I have just created a page on Facebook if you would like to follow the link is below

www.facebook.com/jac
ktownsendsinger
[quote][p][bold]GalaxyMan[/bold] wrote: Heard this lad today- he's very talented. I'd buy a CD if he did one.[/p][/quote]Hello Everyone, Thank you for your kind comments. I have just created a page on Facebook if you would like to follow the link is below www.facebook.com/jac ktownsendsinger jackyt9

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