Royal Borough town crier Chris Brown wins the 2013 national championship
When I asked Andrew Scott at the council whether it would be OK for me to represent the borough in the National Town Crier Championships at Hastings he replied positively adding a playful message of “Make sure you bring back the “first prize”.”
So yesterday I drove through the rain down to Hastings to compete in the 61st competition for the Town Criers National Championship Challenge Cup. There were 25 town criers from around the country and even criers from Holland and Belgium taking part in the event.
We all had to deliver a proclamation about our home town and were judged on volume, diction, clarity and inflection. I spoke about some of the best things in the Royal Borough, including Brunel’s bridge at Maidenhead, The Fat Duck at Bray, The Sir Sidney Camm Memorial and Windsor Castle.
Our second round cry was on the compulsory topic of ‘Prince George’ but after failing to even remember to stand on the podium in round one and fluffing my first sentence I was sure I was already out of the running, although I did think I might be in with a chance of winning the ‘best dressed’ award.
In the end the best dressed cup was quite rightly won by one of the Dutch contestants (Frans van den Bos from Harderwijk) and in the crying competition itself the criers from Calne (Mark Wylie) and Swanage (Andrew Fleming) won 3rd and 2nd places respectively.
They they announced that the Winner of the 61st National Championship at Hastings was the crier from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Chris Brown.
And just for once, when I opened my mouth to speak… not a word came out.
I had a terrific time and the Hastings team led by Town Crier Jon Bartholomew and Debbie Clifford from the Council (plus the Judges) deserve a huge ‘thank you’ for putting on such a great day. Thanks also to my fellow criers who were so friendly and welcoming on the day.