What a glorious day in so many ways. The sun was out and Wimborne was looking its best when Town Criers from all over the South of England converged to make a lot of noise to compete for the coveted title of Champion Town Crier of Southern England.

The day began with Town Criers and Escorts in their splendid costumes assembling at Church House to be joined by The Dorset Youth Marching Band to parade through the town. When the reached Willow walk the criers paused to enjoy an excellent display by these fantastically gifted young people. From there they processed to Mill Lane for photos by one of the sponsors Minster Press, back to The Minster Green for the competition’s first round. Prior to this getting underway The Wimborne Militia fired a volley of musket to scour the town of any evil spirits that may be lurking to spoil the day followed by a “benchmark” cry to give the judges something to base their scoring upon by the Pamphill & Shapwick Town Crier & Serjant of Musket, Melvin Gudger.

The 17 Town Criers then proclaimed greetings from their respective towns to the people of Wimborne and extolled the virtues of their home towns encouraging you to visit them and sample their delights.

The afternoon cry was to be a proclamation of the Criers own choice and their was a great variety of themes. The large and enthusiastic crowd heard some very amusing tales and ones of patriotism and the many glories of our land.

This competition was very close and the judges had their work cut out but finally winners emerged and were invited to receive their trophies from The Mayor & Mayoress. The results:

Champion Town Crier: Andrew Fleming of Swanage
Runner Up: Ken Knowles of Lichfield
Third place: David Craner of Crewkerne and Beaminster

The costumes were judged by Eileen Carter who is the Honorary Keeper of Costumes Priests House Museum and their were some truly magnificent works to be admired.

Best Dressed Town Crier was David Craner of Crewkerne and Beaminster who was wearing a Bellman of the Tudor period costume which glittered in the bright sunshine very beautifully.

Best Dressed Escort was awarded to Melanie Knapp of Sturminster Newton and together with her husband Kevin they won the Best dressed Couple prize. Melanie made both their intricate and colourful costumes from scratch and is clearly a master seamstress and well deserved winner.

Their then followed a very noisy “Bells Up’ where all the Criers rang their bells as one. The Militia Muskets did the trick, keeping the day free of blemish and a large and enthusiastic audience enjoyed this wonderful pageant of colour history and tradition. This was a day of joy, humour and presenting Wimborne at its very best. The day concluded with Cllr John Burden, Mayor of Wimborne thanking the Criers and Escorts for their fine spectacle and informing them that The Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers will always be welcome in Wimborne Minster.

Town Crier Wins National Award

Wimborne’s town crier, Chris Brown, was judged champion in the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers competition in Trowbridge.

Chris Brownwinner of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers competition in Trowbridge 2007 is the town crier for Wimborne and has been for many years now. Chris was judged champion in the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers competition in Trowbridge 2007.

The competition is second only to the national championship held every year in which he has come fifth in the past. Chris was delighted to win the major competition and in doing so spread the word that Wimborne is a delightful town to live in and visit.

Along with this award he received his first win for best dressed town crier. Chris’s current costume reflects the Dorset colours, red, white and gold which is a design feature he likes to maintain for all of his costumes.

The presentation was made by Trevor Heeks, Host Crier of Trowbridge and Cllr. Nick Blakemore Mayor of Trowbridge.

Picture left to right :
Third Place Rosalind Charlton-Chard (& dog Millie),
Hatherliegh Second place Roger Pinder,
Kingsbridge Gulid Champion Crier
Chris Brown & Town Mayor’s Lance Corporal Edred Tyson Brown.
Best dressed Crier Robert Needham, Colchester

Crying out loud to be the best at Dorset Town Crier’s Competition

Wimborne Town Crier meets his rivalPARDON: Wimborne Town Crier Chris Brown (right) meets his rival Mellvin Gudger and they practise their battle for the Dorset Town Crier title with butcher Paul Keating getting caught in the middle of all the noise. (Picture: Sally Adams).

OYEZ, oyez, oyez! Ears as well as tastebuds are in for a treat at Wimborne Food Festival as the Dorset Town Crier’s Competition gets off to a deafening start.

Criers from across the county will flock to the town at noon on Sunday, October 24, to shout it out for the coveted Stanley Mansbridge Perpetual Trophy.

As last year’s winner and host, Wimborne Town Crier Chris Brown can only oversee the two-round cry-off.

He said: “The first round is for the criers to extol the virtues of their home town and encourage people to visit it.

Read the article on Daily Echo website (published 19/10/2010)