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OYEZ OYEZ! Helmsley’s first Town Crier Competition shouts out its success

Town criers from across the world competed for the magna-ficent Magna Carta Trophy

Charismatic Bermudan Town Crier takes 1st place at “best town crier competition for years”

Helmsley’s first National Town Crier Competition, which attracted 20 town crier entrants from across the world, has been hailed a great success by The Ancient & Honourable Guild Of Town Criers, visitors to the event, sponsors and proud Helmsley residents.

Taking place on 21st July, hundreds of residents and visitors to the town were entertained by a series of cries from the competitors, which included international town criers, as well as ones from all over England.

In a very closely run competition, the winner of the overall Magna Carta Trophy was the flamboyant 6ft 7in Ed Christopher, the town crier for Hamilton in Bermuda, who also won the Best Dressed Town Crier award. Jim Stewart, from New Glasgow in Nova Scotia, took a prized second place, and Christian Ashdown of Haslemere in Surrey was awarded third place. The criers were judged according to the rules of The Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers and marked on diction, clarity, inflection and volume. As well as undertaking a ‘Home Cry’ about the town they represent, the competitors had to perform a cry about Helmsley’s strong link to the Magna Carta.

Taking place at the Helmsley Walled Gardens, it was believed to be the largest town crier competition to take place in Yorkshire for many decades. A parade around the town also took place, to allow shoppers and café-goers to catch a glimpse of the magnificent regalia.

The event was organised by the Helmsley in Business group and Helmsley’s Town Crier David Hinde who introduced all the Criers and made two benchmark cries to guide the Judges in their marking.

David enthused: “What a fantastic and successful day. I think it’s fair to say it’s been the Best Town Crier Competition for years. The Walled Garden proved to be a natural amphitheatre of sound and was just a stunning backdrop in the sunshine and with the beautiful flowers. The sizeable and enthusiastic audience listened in awe and applauded all day as Crier after Crier gave their Proclamations in their own very individual styles – beaming with smiles at the warm reception they got. It was a very close run and competitive event, both in the morning and the afternoon, as cry after cry boomed out and was heard to echo on the surrounding hills and walls.

“A huge thank you to our sponsors, without whom the day would not have been possible, and for the generosity of Helmsley in Business members who provided food and drink for the criers and their consorts. I’d also like to say a very big thank you to Jane Buckle from Bondgate Antiques, who has been instrumental in organising the competition, and to all of the Helmsley businesses who volunteered their time throughout the set up and event, and to the Walled Garden for being such a spectacular venue.”

Energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE (formerly Keepmoat Regeneration) was headline sponsor of the event, 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 included Adam Collier Funeral Directors, Kitching Walker Solicitors in Kirkbymoorside, NFU Mutual Pickering, Bisca Staircases and Alpha Signs. Scotts Fish and Chips, Thomas of Helmsley, Porters Coffee Shop and Crema Coffee House provided food and drink for the criers and their companions.

The Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers said it was “An outstanding Competition: the location, hospitality and administration.”

Listen to David’s wonderful interview on TV & radio presenter Paul Ross early morning show on national Talk Radio;