PICTURE SPECIAL: Heart of England town criers competition in Alcester - The Leamington Observer

PICTURE SPECIAL: Heart of England town criers competition in Alcester

COLOURFUL costumes, buckles and bells rang out the news the town criers were in town.

The Heart of England Town Criers Competition saw a cacophony of town criers descend on Alcester on Saturday March 30.

They paraded through the town in their finery before battling it out to prove they had the best pair of lungs and the loudest “oyezs” in the business.

There were competitors from towns including Shipston, Henley, Warwick and Bromsgrove, as well as as far flung as Bognor Regis.

Judged for clarity, diction and volume, there were marks lost for straying off the text.

Each crier had to make two speeches of a given length, the first about the town they represent, the second one chosen by the host town of Alcester.

From Medieval times, the town crier served as a primary means of news communication with the townsfolk, disseminating royal proclamations, adverts, and newsworthy events.

Although the profession was largely phased out in the early 20th century with the growth of newspapers, town crier competitions are now held for ceremonies or to add colour to special events.

The Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers, founded in 1978 at Hastings, works to standardise competitions and keep the profession alive.



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