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Town Criers Competition

Oyez oyez oyez, town criers set to descend on Newton Abbot

A PARADE of richly-clad participants and civic dignitaries will launch the Newton Abbot Town Criers’ Competition on the morning of Saturday September 9.

Events are due to get under way at 10.15 a.m when the representatives of 15 towns from four westcountry counties will make their way from the Royal British Legion to Courtenay Street.

The first ‘home town’ cry is to be heard at 10.45 a.m, with more following until a break at 11.45 a.m.

The second ‘sweets’ cry will begin at 12.45 p.m and last for an hour, after which the judges will announce the winners and present trophies and prizes.

Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker and his consort, Cllr Tom Corney-Walker, will make special presentations for the best dressed crier, best dressed escort and best dressed couple.

The host will be Newton Abbot’s own town crier, Nigel Kenneison, who is prevented from taking part in the competition by Guild rules.

Flying the flag for the Manorial Borough of Newton Abbot however will be Eveline Davies.

Also featuring on the day will be free family craft activities in Courtenay Street, courtesy of Creative Newton Abbot, plus the ancient St Leonard’s Tower will be open to visitors.

Another draw will be the offer of free face painting and balloons between 10am – 2pm.

‘This is a real taste of tradition in Newton Abbot and we’re looking forward to welcoming the criers from as far afield as Penzance in West Cornwall and Calne in Wiltshire,’ said Natalie Hicks, Events Co-ordinator for Newton Abbot Town Council.

‘We’re also opening up the clocktower as it’s a popular destination with locals and visitors alike, and in addition our Outreach Worker Kate Green will be providing a great free crafting event close by.

‘And we certainly know from previous events that the free balloons and face painting will go down a storm.

‘The actual cries will be taking place outside Austins but I’m sure no one will need directions, just follow the very loud voices coming from the town centre!

‘As a matter of interest, the traditional ‘oyez oyez oyez’ used by town criers to introduce themselves comes from old French and means ‘hear ye, hear ye, hear ye.

‘Believe it or not, it’s still used in American courts but thankfully you’ll not need to travel any further than Newton Abbot to hear it said on September 9.’

For more information please email [email protected] or call 01626 201120