Plenty to shout about at Sleaford town crier contest

Sleaford Market Place will be ringing with the sound of its third Town Crier Competition this Saturday (September 3).

Town criers parade through Sleaford at the beginning of last year's contest.
Town criers parade through Sleaford at the beginning of last year's contest.

The event is hosted by Sleaford’s own Town Crier, John Griffiths, in co-operation with the Town Council.This year he has 16 criers plus plus consorts from around the country, who will be meeting at the Town Hall at 10am for a meet and greet.

They will then parade to the Market Place at around 10.40am – 10.45am where the competition will start at 11am.John explains: “The competition itself will consist of two rounds. The first round is called the ‘home cry’, where the criers do a proclamation about the town they are from.”After a break for lunch around 12.30pm they will return to the Market Place for the second round at 2pm.

John said: “This is called the theme cry. This proclamation is different for every competition. This year I have chosen the theme of Star Trek, so criers will research and write a proclamation about anything to do with Star Trek.”

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    The cries are often written in rhyme.“The cries must be a minimum of 100 words and a maximum of 140 words including the phrases, ‘Oyez Oyez Oyez’ and ‘God Save the Queen’,” explained John.

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    After the second round, the scores will be totalled up ready for the prize giving ceremony at roughly 3.45pm-4pm.He said there is a lot of technical elements to study during the judging process: “The criers will be judged on accuracy, as cries have to be submitted to me in advance, maintained volume and clarity, diction and inflection and presentation and engagement.”There will be trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places plus awards for best theme cry, best ambassador and best dressed.All are welcome to go along and cheer on the criers in what is expected to be an exciting Saturday with lots of events going on around the town.

    Among these, Millstream Square, off Southgate will be holding its latest artisan market event between 10am and 3pm .

    There will be artisan trader stalls selling delicious treats and locally made wares, street food, sweet treats and musical entertainers.