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The 65th National Town Criers Championship

The 65th National Town Criers' Championship will take place on Saturday 14 October at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre and guarantees a colourful and noisy occasion!

This year the performances of the Criers will be judged on:

Volume; Dicton; Clarity; Inflection

Entrants will also be judged for their fit of costume, bearing, overall appearance and use of historically relevant groups.

The competition, held over 2 heats, consists of their Home Cry and one 'free cry' that must include the words 'sun, sea and sand, Hastings is grand' which will be judged by leading experts.

2016 winners were:

  • Winner - Alistair Chisholm
  • Second - Ken Knowles
  • Third - Dev Hobson

  

Best Dressed Crier  -  Robert Needham

View video of last year's event

History of the Town Criers

Town Criers were the original 'newsmen' finding their origins in the early Greek Empire as Spartan Runners.

The first criers in Britain can be found in 1066 when news of William of Normandy's invasion was passed from town to town by men employed to remind everybody of Harold's authority.  As the literacy of Britain's population remained low well into the late 19th century, people came to rely on criers as a useful way of hearing about proclamations, edicts, laws and news.

Oyez, oyez, oyez ('hark' or 'listen') became a familiar call in town squares, markets and public meeting places all over Britain, a summons for the townspeople to gather and listen to news of plague, victories in far off lands, royal births and deaths by execution.

Their position became so important that harming a Town Crier was turned into a treasonable offence!

Listen to Jon Bartholomew, Hastings Town Crier

A good, loud voice is often an advantage!

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