Town crier contest to be held next year in Sleaford?

Sleaford Town Crier John Griffiths. EMN-180310-170440001
Sleaford Town Crier John Griffiths. EMN-180310-170440001

Sleaford could have something to shout about next year with a plan to host a Town Crier contest.

Sleaford’s Town Crier, John Griffiths, is behind the idea to stage the event on June 8 and has already won the support of the Town Council, which set aside a budget of up to £1,000 at its meeting last Wednesday to cover costs.

Mr Griffiths, who came second in the British Championships in May and second at the recent Otley Town Crier Contest, explained that it would be a good visitor attraction with up to 15 competitors and their consorts from around the country taking part.

The competition would be held in the Market Place in front of a panel of judges including the Mayor.

He said: “If we get a successful competition going we could hold the British Championships here, which would be even bigger for Sleaford. They always gather a crowd as it is a colourful spectacle - often linked to another town event.”

“I have been going all over the country representing Sleaford in different town crier competitions. For the one in Sleaford I would be hosting it, doing the introductions, speaking to people and finding some suitable judges for all the categories.

“I would also set out an ‘example cry’ for the judges to base their scoring on.”

The judges will each have an aspect to focus on - volume, clarity, content, accuracy, bearing and manner, as well as giving awards for best dressed crier and consort.

Mr Griffiths said: “You get people watching, cheering and laughing as some of the criers are real characters. We have fun at the same time as competing, encouraging each other.”

Mr Griffiths is also one of 100 Town Criers around the UK joining in a ‘Cry For Peace’ in their home towns on November 11, Armistice Day, at 7pm, after the bells have chimed to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.