Stormy weather put a dampener on a special market on Saturday, but the rain did not deter town criers from around the country having something to shout about.
The first ever Sleaford Town Crier competition transferred to the Town Hall after receiving the gloomy weather forecast and the colourful characters did their best to brighten everyone’s day, as well as splitting a few ear drums.
The event, under the guidance of the Loyal Company of Town Criers, was put on by Sleaford’s very own crier, John Griffiths, who has held the post for five years. He was assisted by the town council.
A break in the weather allowed a procession of the eight male and female town criers and their consorts around the town to encourage more spectators.
There had been plans for an outdoor market, plus entertainment by Our Lady of Good Counsel School’s PTA, but many stall holders opted not to take up the offer of covered space in the Town Hall.
The first round of the contest, in the morning, saw criers cry about their home towns, while the afternoon saw contestants have to research interesting facts about Sleaford to shout about.
The trio of judges were Mayor Adrian Snookes, former Mayor Jan Mathieson and musician and businessman Steve ‘Jock’ Mclelland of the Band from County Hell.
The best crier award went to Lichfield city crier Ken Knowles. Mr Griffiths said he thought everyone had enjoyed their day and was looking forward to next year’s event, if given the go ahead. It had also given him a chance to size up the opposition for the British championships in Darlington.
Mayor Adrian Snookes was really pleased to see all the participants, saying: “It was fantastic and I really enjoyed it and hopefully we will do a bigger one next year.”
Steve Mclelland said the pressure of judging on clarity of delivery had been surprisingly intense, but added: “This event could really grow and be even better.”