Town Criers compete for top titles in Garstang festival contest

Oyez, oyez contestants gather for the Garstang Town Criers contest
Oyez, oyez contestants gather for the Garstang Town Criers contest

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, a mighty noise filled Garstang’s Cherestanc Square this week, but no one was complaining.

The sound of a dozen Town Criers from across the north showcasing their vocal dexterity delighted both Garstang Arts and Music Festival goers and town visitors.

It was the seventh annual Garstang Town Criers Competition and the final event of this year’s festival.

Garstang’s own Town Crier Hilary McGrath was once again Mistress of Ceremonies.

She said: “It’s a very colourful event and it’s an outdoor event and it’s a bit of tradition people enjoy.”

The criers paraded through the town and were judged on sustained volume and clarity, diction and inflection, presentation and engagement and also on accuracy.

Each gave two crys - a home cry about their home town or city and a cry on “A Taste of Lancashire”.

The overall winner was Barnoldswick Town Crier Eliza Mowe. Other winners were: Best Content of Cry - Middlewich Crier Devlin Hobson; Best Dressed Crier - Colin Ballard from Lytham St Annes; Best Dressed Escort: Trish Stubbins from Liverpool; Best dressed couple David and Jo Jackson from Malton and Norton.

The winner of the Festival’s Best Decorated Shop Window contest was also announced at the event with prizes going to Gibson and Thomson opticians on Market Place for the best small window display and to Best Wishes Cards on High Street for the best large window display.

Judges were deputy mayor Leah Hynes, Mary Medcalf, Eleen Smith and Anne Bouget. Sue Hubbard was the contest supervisor.

• Hilary will be on duty next on Thursday, September 7 alerting shoppers on the High Street to a charity coffee morning at Garstang’s United Reformed church hall in aid of Garstang’s Millennium Garden.