Town Crier Competition

Published: 18 July 2017

HEAR ye, Hear ye was heard echoing through the streets of Nelson as town criers battled out to be crowned number one.

Eight civic speakers from across the land took to the stage under the shadow of the town centre clock in a bid to be the winner of the Nelson town crier competition.

Organised by Nelson Town Council, the judges included Cllr David Whalley, the Mayor of Pendle, along with his wife, Barbara, his Mayoress, and Town Councillors George Adam and Adrian Barrett.

They assessed each crier on confidence, baring, dictation, inflection, volume and clarity.

Eliza Mowe, Barnoldswick’s town crier, took third place, Ken Knowles, from Litchfield took second and Terry Ford, from Otley, took first prize. Terry also gained the Best Ambassador role with Marilyn Stemmer from Darlington getting the Best Dressed Escort and Hilary McGrath the Best Dressed Crier.

 Mrs Mowe, a former European champion crier, said the event was a great success. She said: “We do this because we love it. It’s great to get out into the towns and meet new people and make new friends in great towns, like Nelson. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves as we all had a great time.”

Town criers, also known as bellmen, were officers of the court who made public announcements using bells to grasp people’s attention.

They also installed minor criminals into the stocks and administered floggings.

A Punch and Judy puppet show also took place during the day and there were several stalls selling bric-a-brac and food.

Vic Huddersfield, town crier for Huddersfield, who helped to organise the event, said: “Lots of people attended despite the drizzly weather. Nelson doesn’t have a town crier currently but I hope we have inspired a few people to come forward and take up the helm.”

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