For the 19th successive year, the town of Hastings has staged the National Town Criers' Championship on Saturday(August 15).
For the 19th successive year, the town of Hastings has staged the National Town Criers' Championship on Saturday(August 15). The event--the only one of its kind in the country today--was won for the second year running by Richard Smith, the Town Crier of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
Eighteen Official Town Criers, with ages ranging from the early 20's to the 80's, from all part of Britain converged on hastings to "shout it out". The competition was inaugurated about 1910 and continued regularly until the outbreak of the Second World War.
The competition was on a smaller regional scale until's Sunday newspaper promoted it nationally in 1947 Many former National champion were among the entries for this year's competition, including Ben Johnson the Town Crier of St Austell-with-Fowey in Cornwall He won the National Championship first in 1939 --the last pre-war competition--and a further ten times since then.
The winner this year was Richard Smith, Town Crier of Beaconsfield. He was only appointed to his office--which dated back to 1724--last year. But he won the National Championship then and followed up his success again this year.
As the winner, mr Smith received GBP50 sterling(120 dollars) as well as a trophy. The three judges were unable to see the competition but judged them purely on quality of voice and audibility.