The Second Nantwich Town Crier Competition 2013

By Rach Griffiths

Local and loveable Nantwich town crier John Parsons has once again treated the people of Nantwich to a fantastic and colourful town crier competition outside St Marys Church today on this lovely sunny day (July 27th).

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John Parsons with the competition shield

Town criers and their escorts from all over the UK once again descended onto the busy Nantwich streets for the competition that John had organised in support of two local neo-natal units.

Now I was at last years event which was the first of its kind in Nantwich and I enjoyed it so much I just had to pop down to watch it, last year 13 town criers wowed the crowds and this year was no exception.
The town criers are judged on lots off different things such as the condition of their regalia, their volume and clarity and a few other things.

This competition started once again with each crier taking their turn in stage one, to cry all about the best things to happen in their home town with a little history thrown in.
Stage two was the section where they are given a theme by John which this year the theme was all about the Nantwich cheese awards.

We had the treat of watching a bellmans arch being performed again which is a very rare site when the criers gathered to ring across Nantwich Town centre for the couple that got married today. The newlyweds were presented with a certificate by John Parsons just like the happy couple from last year did, who are were also in attendance celebrating their 1st anniversary this weekend!

The criers were spectacular to look at and this years competition featured some criers I had not seen before.
One particular crier that stood out was Devlin Hobson who is the Kidsgrove town crier.

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Devlin Hobson and his escort

Now Devlin has been in the post for three short weeks but put on an amazing performance today and he has really settled into the post in such a short time you would have thought he had been doing this for years.
He cried with ease and professionalism and did the people of Kidsgrove proud with his brilliant performance.
His regalia was such a lovely shade of purple and he really looked amazing.
I hope Devlin has lots of fun in his post as the town crier and wish him lots of success in the future and at his next competition.

The lovely Steve Godwin from Wivenhoe was once again a participant of the competition.
Back in 2012 when he entered Johns first event he had only been in his post for around two months.

I spoke to Steve about his first year of being a town crier and he has really enjoyed it so far.

He was very pleased to be back in Nantwich and it was lovely for me to meet him and his lovely wife again to chat about what hes been up to since last year.
Steve is a real character and im sure he will be a representative of Wivenhoe for years to come.

Halfway through the competition the criers were invited to go up to the top of Nantwich church to admire the stunning view so I decided to have a look myself, I followed Les Cutts who is the town crier for Halifax up the spiral staircase to the roof of the church, which I must admit made me feel a little anxious but once at the top the view was amazing.
Les even let me take his photo up in the bellringers tower where we were both told all about different bell ringing patterns and methods.

All in all this competition was a great success and this years crown went to Terry Ford who is the Town crier for Otley.
It was the second competition for Terry who had previously taken second place in the Bridlington old town festival day competitions.

Mike Shanahan who competed in last years competition representing Bishops Castle has now retired from his post but he made an appearance throughout the day treating onlookers to his lovely bagpipes and making sure he led this years contestants into the competition with pride!

The full list of participants were…..
Brenda Willison – Bakewell
Les Cutts – Halifax
Hilary McGrath – Garstang
Peter Taunton – Newport
John Robinson – Biddulph
Adrian Holmes – Sandwell
Geoff Russell – Market Drayton
Terry Ford – Otley
Steve Godwin – Wivenhoe
Devlin Hobson – Kidsgrove
David Hinde – Bridlington
Peter Stemmer – Darlington
Fred Ferris – Swindon

The Crewe News was fortunate to be able to video the full 2nd part of the Nantwich Town Crier competition and other goings on during the afternoon.
Click this link to view – 2013 Nantwich Town Crier Competition Videos

Well done all for the fantastic show in Nantwich today and I will definitely see you there for the third Nantwich town crier competition in 2014!

Thank you to the town criers for taking the time to talk to me during the competition.
A huge thanks to Les Cutts for escorting me down the church staircase after our visit!

Story and Pictures ©Rach Griffiths 2013