Oyez, Oyez, Oyez! Newton abbot once again played host to members of the Ancient & honourable guild of town crier’s at this year’s town crier’s competition held on Saturday 9th September.
14 Crier’s took part in the competition, which was held in front of Austins The Globe throughout the day.
It was a very colourful (and somewhat noisy!) event. Crying is very much a forerunner to today’s daily newspapers as it is an early form of relaying newsworthy items that dates back centuries.
The competition involved 2 cries – the ‘Home Cry’ took part in the morning where the Criers promoted the town he or she represents and an afternoon cry which this year was ‘Newton Abbot’s Connections with Newfoundland’.
First place crier went to Mark Wylie from Calne, second place to Andrew fox from Ilminster third place to Les Ellis fom Dartmouth, congratulations to them all.
All winners received a trophy, a certificate and also a monetary prize which was kindly donated by Lord of the Borough Keith Stokes Smith.
Austins Department Store awarded a prize for best dressed escort which went to the escort of Les Ellis (Liz) from Dartmouth and best dressed couple, this prize went to Roy & Bee Goodwin from Ilfracombe. A trophy was also awarded to best dressed crier and that went to Jackie from Kingsteignton. Plus winner of the Devon Championship went to Les Ellis from Dartmouth.
Many thanks need to go to a number of people, who have made the event possible, these include Austins Department Store, Ken Purchase host crier and his escort Dulcie, Kieran Dore, Mike Ryan, Colin Parker, Sam Davis, Lord of the Borough Keith Stokes Smith, The Royal British Legion, The Union Inn, Tuckers Maltings, the Army Cadets, the judges and a the Mayor of Newton Abbot Ann Jones and her escort on the day Katherine Stocker.
There was also a special appearance from Newton’s Place mascot ’Newton’ and a special cry from a young town crier in training Oliver Day.
Host Crier Ken Purchase & his Escort Dulcie also received a presentation as this competition was to be their last due to Ken retiring next year. Ken became a town crier in 1992 and his in his ‘from that day y life changed’. The Town Council wanted to thank him and Dulcie for all of their year’s representing the Council and also organising the competitions. An engraved glass bell was presented to Ken and a box of flowers to Dulcie.