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.
On Saturday 20th April from 11 am Wimborne town centre will be filled with busking musicians who have entered the town’s first street music competition with the chance of cash prizes following a Gala final in the Allendale Centre that evening.
The public are urged to be the Judges of the performers by purchasing a voting pack which includes discount vouchers for town centre shops. The Judges pack will have all the information about the performers aand information on how to cast your votes. Teas, coffee and cakes will be available during the day at Busking HQ in Church House raising funds for The Gunstone Trust a local charity. Also in town at Square Records they are celebrating Independent Record Store day with special limited vinyl releases and some fine in-store performances.
GALA FINAL will being at 7pm in the Allendale Centre main hall and feature the top six acts of the day as voted for by the public judges. Also appearing will be legendary HOBO JONES & THE JUNKYARD DOGS (http://www.ade2000.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/hobojones ) have had huge national and international success since winning a similar competition in Maidstone, Kent in 2005. They will bring us some of their hoedown skiffle with maximum participation over a few sets as we get the finalists performing.
Entry to the Final will be £10 or £5 with the Judges pack purchased earlier in the day. JUDGING at the final will be divided between Public voting and a select panel of Judges from the local musical scene to avoid any possible “rigging” of the proceedings.
FURTHER DETAILED INFO will be available at the WIMBORNE TOURIST OFFICE on the High St.
This is a not for profit event supported by The Wimborne B.I.D.
27th November 2012: Ethan Johns is a legendary record producer and has worked with many great artists and has just released his first album “If Not Now When?” on Three Crows Records. This is only out on vinyl at the moment which might genuinely indicate that the popularity of vinyl is increasing? I composed a Cry of introduction for Ethan just before he came on to do some songs and a question and answer session in the shop.
IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE WE WELCOME TO WIMBORNE MINSTER, A MUSICIAN OF FINE CRAFT & SKILL, FOR TODAY WE SHALL BE TREATED TO SOME AURAL DELIGHTS, TO WHICH, I AM SURE OUR HUMBLE SPIRITS WILL THRILL, I AM CONFIDENT THAT YOU ARE ALL FAMILIAR WITH THIS TROUBADOUR’S EXTENSIVE WORK, AS BOTH A MUSICIAN AND PRODUCER, A MAN OF VISION, TALENT AND GREAT WORTH, HIS OWN MUSIC IS OF GREAT CREDIT, AND TODAY I AM SURE YOU WILL ENJOY A DEMONSTRATION OF THIS, AND PERHAPS SOME SONGS FROM HIS NEW ALBUM, “IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN”, I AM AWARE ETHAN HAS SAID WE ARE ALL ON A JOURNEY OF LEARNING AND YOUR HUMILITY IS A LESSON TO US ALL, IN AN INDUSTRY WHERE EGOS CAN SOAR, IT IS TRULY REFRESHING TO FIND ONE WHO IS OPEN AND HONEST AND CAN NEVER BE ACCUSED OF BEING A BORE! SO GOOD FOLK OF WIMBORNE MINSTER, LET US WARMLY APPLAUD, A MAN WHO IS AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME, WITH SOME WELCOMING APPLAUSE.
And so on he came and enthralled us with beautiful songs and a glimpse into his world of recording and production. Students from Poole College Music Technology course were in attendance and for them this was like a free Masterclass, discovering some of Ethan and his father’s techniques, secrets and approach to recording. It was a great evening and thanks to Ethan and all the staff at Square Records.