Alistair Chisholm of Dorchester champion at the Town Criers competition from the south of England

We were crowned champions of the Southern England Town Criers competition.

A staggering 14 town criers from a wide area were in good voices as the contest drew crowds to Wimborne on Bank Holiday Monday.

The event was hosted by Chris Brown who is Town Crier and Sergeant of the Town Mayor and his Deputy Mel Gudger who is Town Crier for Pamhill and Shapwick.

Originally organized as part of the Blandford Forum Georgian Fayre, the competition now takes place in Wimborne every two years.

The day started with a parade from the Allendale Center led by the Dorset Youth Marching Band to Town Square. Before the start of ‘Crying’, the band demonstrated in the square.

Introducing the town criers, Chris Brown welcomed everyone, including the town’s mayor, Ms Kelly Webb, who had previously drawn the order of passage for the two batches of “screams”.

In the morning, the first round of “Cries” was the “Home Town Cry” and after a lunch break at the Allendale Center, the second round of “Cries” was themed “A Cry of the Town Criers”.

It was a close fight with only half a point separating each of the top three. The winner was Alistair Chisholm from Dorchester with second Christian Ashdown from Haslemere and third Gez Clark, all the way from Eccleston in Lancashire.

There were also awards for Best Dressed Town Crier which was won by Christian Ashdown, and Best Dressed Couple, won by Les and Liz Ellis of Dartmouth.

Joan Dauncey of Melksham named best dressed escort

All the winners were presented by the mayor of the city with an annual trophy, to be presented next year, and a trophy to be kept.

Speaking after the event, Chris Brown said: “It was a very good competition with a high level of shouting and a large and engaged audience both morning and afternoon.”

He said everyone who participated was impressed with the level of entries and the level of judging.

Mr Brown, a former national champion, said there were around 200 town criers across the country and competitions were held across the country throughout the summer.

He thanked all the spectators.

About John A. Provost

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