National Town Criers’ Championships: Saturday, June 29
- Credit: Archant
Hear ye this! The Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers is holding its National Town Criers’ Championships in Nailsworth’s Mortimer Gardens on Saturday, June 29. Hosting the event will be Nailsworth’s own award-winning crier, Tony Evans.
• So, Tony, who will be entering the competition and what will they have to do to win?
We’re expecting around 30 criers from all over – Lichfield, Colchester, Devon: most parts of England. In the morning, their task is to tell everyone about the town or city they’re representing, in around 100 words, starting with three Oyezs and finishing with God Save the Queen. In the afternoon, I’ve given them a choice: they can either cry about the Gloucestershire Regiment and the Back Badge; or about WH Davies, the poet synonymous with Nailsworth.
Entrants will be judged on five criteria: volume, clarity, diction, inflection and accuracy. They have to submit their cries beforehand, and a judge will check them word for word as they perform.
• Will you be entering?
As host, I’m not allowed to compete. But, at the start of each round, I have to do a hometown cry about Nailsworth – a ‘benchmark’ to give the judges criteria to mark to – and another in the afternoon. I’ll be talking about the town’s iconic clock-tower, its wind turbine (the first in Britain), and the area’s historic houses, such as Chavenage Manor with its connection to Oliver Cromwell. ‘Nailsworth: a place of peace and pleasure; once visited, you will want to come again.’
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• You’re known for your fabulous costumes. What will you be wearing on the day?
Red is my Nailsworth colour, made from cloth donated by Straughan’s Mill in Stroud. The costume is based on the George III period: King George visited Nailsworth and saw the cloth being made at Dunkirk Mill. That then inspired the scarlet uniforms of the Royal Regiment. Jen, my wife – who currently holds the title of Guild Champion Best Dressed Escort - will be wearing matching red. Anyone watching the competition will see a variety of costumes from all different periods, right back to Tudor and up to the modern day. It’s also a chance to hear some of the best town criers in the country, including some ladies.
• The competition begins in Mortimer Gardens, Nailsworth town centre, at 10.30am. Any companies interested in sponsoring it should contact Tony on 01453 731355.