Plenty to shout about after second town crier contest

Sleaford has something to shout about after holding its second Town Crier competition.

The winner of Sleaford Town Crier contest 2021 - Michael Wabe of Watton, with Sleaford crier John Griffiths and Coun Linda Edwards-Shea - Deputy Mayor. EMN-210609-183140001

Saturday saw last year’s postponed event take place in the Market Place, with a dozen criers (known as a ‘bellow’) from around the UK travelling to test their vocal talents in front of a panel of local judges, including Deputy Mayor Coun Linda Edwards-Shea.

Host was John Griffiths, Sleaford’s Town Crier for six years, who kicked off proceedings with his own cry about the history and attractions of the town, before inviting others to speak about their home patches.

A short rain shower soon dissipated to allow the competitors to say their second cry, devised on a set theme. The theme cry challenged the criers to research, write and shout about a topic of Mr Griffiths’ choosing.

The town crier competitors. EMN-210609-121224001

The three judges scored the contestants on volume, clarity, content, accuracy in sticking to their scripts, bearing and manner.

The event was first held in the town in 2019 and this time (having been delayed by the pandemic, was joined by the Sleaford Farmers’ Market traders.

John said: “I’m really pleased with how it went. It went down really well with everyone - all the criers had a great day too.”

The winner of this year’s competition was Michael Wabe of Watton. Second was Elizabeth Anderson-Watson of Barnoldswick and third was Paul Gough of Nuneaton and Bedworth.

One of the three female town criers taking part this year. EMN-210609-121236001

John added a big thank you to the staff at Sleaford Town Council for all their support and hard work to get the competition up and running.

“It was a fantastic day for Sleaford all round, thank you to the people of Sleaford for coming out to witness the Bellow of Town Criers.”

Spectators listening to the town crier contest in Sleaford Market Place. EMN-210609-121248001
Sleaford Town Crier John Griffifths makes the opening address. EMN-210609-121300001
Sleaford Town Crier John Griffifths makes the opening address. EMN-210609-121312001
The town criers parade through Sleaford. EMN-210609-121324001
Ring a bell? Sleaford Town Crier contest in full flow. EMN-210609-183129001