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VISIT HELMSLEY NEWS • Updated , 9:17 am

Helmsley’s first Town Crier Competition attracts international competitors

Town criers from Bermuda and Nova Scotia will travel a combined 6,000 miles to compete in Yorkshire’s biggest competition in decades

Helmsley’s first ever Town Crier competition is to play host to two town criers from across the other side of the world.

It is believed that the ‘Helmsley Invitational National Town Criers Competition for The Magna Carta Trophy’ will be the largest town crier competition to take place in Yorkshire for many decades – and as such it has attracted the interest of international town criers.

Ed Christopher, who represents the City of Hamilton in Bermuda, and Jim Stewart of New Glasgow in Nova Scotia, have both confirmed they will compete in the event on 21st July. A further 18 town criers from across the UK will also take part – including ones representing towns in Devon, Herefordshire, Somerset, Surrey, Kent, West Midlands, Lincolnshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire. Regional criers include those representing Scarborough, Filey, Darlington, Knaresborough, Malton and Norton.

David Hinde, Helmsley’s award-winning town crier, and the Helmsley in Business group will host the competition, which is to be held at the beautiful Helmsley Walled Garden, with Helmsley Castle the stunning backdrop.

The event has been made possible thanks to generous sponsorship from several local companies. Energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE (formerly Keepmoat Regeneration) is headline sponsor, with other key sponsors including Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, which has branches in Malton, Pickering, Selby and York, Malton’s Pearson and Ward Solicitors and construction firm Repair and Restoration Ltd. Other sponsors include Adam Collier Funeral Directors, Kitching Walker Solicitors in Kirkbymoorside, NFU Mutual Pickering, Bisca Staircases and Alpha Signs.

As well as helping to organise the event, Helmsley in Business members have got behind the hosting of the competitors, with Scotts Fish & Chips providing dinner, and Thomas of Helmsley providing a buffet lunch and Porters and Crema coffee shops providing cakes and scones for morning tea.

On 21st July, the event at the Walled Garden will start at 11am when, following a welcome, the criers will perform their Home Cry, about the towns they represent. At 2pm there will be a parade of criers and consorts in their stunning regalia through the Market Place, past the Castle Visitor Centre, giving a chance for even more people to enjoy the spectacle, before returning to the Walled Garden where visitors and the local community are encouraged to come and watch the performances. A second themed cry will take place at 3pm, before the winners are announced by the judges and trophies are presented at 4.30pm. The criers will be judged according to the rules of The Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers, of which David is a member.

David Hinde commented: “It’s an absolute coup to have Ed and Jim coming from their respective countries – travelling more than 6,000 miles between them – and we couldn’t be more delighted. They are both very experienced Town Criers. It really will be a fantastic event for all the family, set in the beautiful Helmsley Walled Gardens. As well as being a great visual spectacle, it’s obviously amazing to listen to – you may well be able to hear us throughout the town! It’s also an interesting living history lesson for youngsters about what it would have been like centuries ago, when town criers were appointed to carry out the important roles of making official announcements and spreading information in their towns every day.”

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