A legendary man (in Witham, anyway) Cann, 73, or more affectionately known as the Bird Man, is on a mission to spread happiness around where he lives. After being injured in a car accident, Cann, has been using a mobility scooter for the past five years. Since them, Mr Cann, (or Tony to his friends) then put it upon himself to make it his job to perk up Witham, and went about this by buying a cuddly bird and sewing it to the top of his favourite hat.
“I love wildlife,” he tells us. “I used to love feeding the birds until all of the road works changed that. They are wonderful creatures – and now I’m called the Bird Man which I love!””I went up to Witham one day and the sun was glaring down on my head and I was getting overheated so I bought a hat in a charity shop,” says Tony. “Then I went back and saw this box of cuddly toys and it had a bird in it, which I liked.”
His friend Marjorie stitched the furry friend to his hat, which then went on to gain him his title of the ‘Bird Man of Witham’.
And last Monday, what did the bird man do? Tony spent the day travelling around his town of Witham attempting to fulfil his mission; to put a smile on people’s faces.
“There must have been about 20 people standing at the bus stop, and it wasn’t just elderly people,” he laughed.
“They were all laughing and some even took their hats off to me,”
After this, Tony drove his tri wheeled Super Sport mobility scooter around Witham High Street, and enjoyed the merriments and joy his hat brought to visitors and passers-by.
“It was a nice surprise for people, you know? One little boy was crying with laughter because I had a ‘chicken’ on my head.”
Tony, a long-time resident of Witham only originally planned on wearing his adorable hat for the one day, but now he eagerly anticipates that others will follow in his mission and think of other fresh ways of uplifting the town.
“I enjoyed wearing it because it made people happy and more people should do the same. After all, laughter makes the world go round,” he chucked to himself.
I think we’ll have to agree with you on that one Tony, this story really has put a smile on our faces!