Our very own Town Crier (and newly appointed Freeman of the Town), Chris Brown, had been organising this competition for about 2 years! It’s always a worry with outside, events whether the weather will hold up. Well it did just about on bank holiday Monday 6th May (although we’re advised that it was the coldest May bank holiday since records began)! It was sunny and cloudy but with a bitterly cold wind. Still it was dry so no one was complaining (too much).
I was invited to the Allendale Centre to do the draw of the order in which Town Criers would do their ‘cry’. We did that at 10:30 and shortly afterwards were processing across to the Square following the Dorset Youth Marching Band. Myself and Chris Brown behind the Militia and the rest of the Criers following behind (the Militia helping to stop the traffic as we crossed Hanham Road). I didn’t wear my robe as I thought I would get mistaken for a crier!
Chris didn’t take part in the competition – well it would be bad form for the host to win! Judges were lined up to score each one against the volume, diction and content of their cry. There were also categories for best dressed. So round 1 started about 11:30 and lasted about 45 minutes. Each Town Crier doing a witty number on the joys of their own town(s).
Then after lunch, Round 2 was a free format cry where they could choose anything they liked! Some of these were hilarious, some quite touching.
The winner was declared as the Dorchester Town Crier Alistair Chisholm -he’s got ‘form’ as a previous winner on more than one occasion.
Prizes and cups were awarded at the end – I was able to do the honors as Chris made the announcements. What a super day – again, in town with a fantastic atmosphere and so many people watching, well done Chris and well done Wimborne!