Twenty-three of Britain's best vocal athletes competed, decibel by decibel, in the National Town Criers' Championship at Hustings, Sussex, on Saturday (11 August).
LV & CU Town criers in procession through streets of Hustings watched by people in deck chairs (4 shots)
SCU Richard Smith, Beaconsfield, Bucks., rings bell and commences cry.
SOUND STARTS: "Oyez......"
CU Ted Wilson, Great Dunmow, Essex, continues to read proclamation
CU Abraham Curnow, St. Ives, Cornwall
CU Ben Johnson, St. Austall with Fowey, Cornwall (winner) ends cry
SOUND ENDS: "...God Save the Queen."
SCU Ben Johnson receives trophy (3 shots)
SV PAN Disappointed crier rides off on moped.
Initials BB/1554 WMCS/MR/BB/1605
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Background: Twenty-three of Britain's best vocal athletes competed, decibel by decibel, in the National Town Criers' Championship at Hustings, Sussex, on Saturday (11 August). They were shouting for a GBP50 first prize, a trophy and a week in a holiday camp.
The eventual winner was Ben Johnson, who's been crying out loud in the streets of St. Austell with Fowey since 1936. He's been competing in the championship since 1938, and was pipped into second place last year. The most experienced crier must surely be Abraham Curnow, from St. Ives, in Cornwall. He's been in the business 50 years.
The contest began in 1910, and it continued regularly until the outbreak of World War Two. In that year -- 1939 -- the new title holder Dan Johnson was also the winner.
At that stage, the competition was largely regional, with most contestants coming from the west of England. In 1947, the first national championship was held, and five years later the Hastings Corporation approached the organisers to have ti staged in their historic town.