The new royal borough’s town crier’s livery is loosely based on a coachman’s coat of the late 18th century.
The design itself was mainly the work of David Coulthard of Tom Brown’s Tailors of Eton who worked together with Chris Brown the town crier to produce a unique outfit which is certain to get noticed.
The coat itself took around 60 hours to complete and was worked on by four people: David, Diane, Hoa and Alf. David Coulthard says the intricate braiding (or military lace, as it is also known) was hard work and took the most time to complete.
Most of the country’s 200 or so town criers wear a predominantly red livery, but as this is a ROYAL borough Chris will join the town crier of Royal Wootton Bassett as one of the few criers to wear a purple livery. The material is a wool felt, so in winter Chris stays lovely and warm but on summer days it isn’t the easiest of clothing choices.
The buttons on the waistcoat are decorated with Tudor roses in memory of Henry VIII, undoubtedly one of the most famous people to have been buried in the borough.
The coat buttons feature the three lions motif from the Royal Standard to honour the Borough’s close connection with Monarchy. This is not the first time Chris has worn a uniform featuring the three lions. As a teenager in the 1980’s worked at Wembley Stadium tour guide and that uniform included the three lions too.
The hand-embroidered borough crest by Mayfield Jays features some beautiful 3D effects as well as gold and silver coloured threads.
The ‘Hessian’ boots were handmade by Theatrical Shoemakers Limited, based in Edmonton. These boots are appropriate to the late eighteenth century theme and are a forerunner of the boots which were later made fashionable by the duke of Wellington.
The Tricorn Hat
The tricorn hat was made by Ascot Top Hats. It features braiding with an oak-leaf design which again harks back to the Borough’s heritage; in particular the oaks which form a large part of the Great Park. The cockade has both swan feathers and horse hair to represent the two heraldic ‘supporters’ on the borough coat of arms.
The addition of a leather bell holder with shoulder belt has made carrying six pounds of brass around a bit less of an effort, although I was recently asked by a lady from Old Windsor whether I could switch from brown to black leather as she felt it clashed with the coat. She may have had a point.