OYEZ, Oyez! When it comes to town criers, Beaminster has the best of the bunch.

David Craner, 65, who has been the town’s traditional crier for six years, beat off competition from criers from towns all over Dorset to take the county title as Town Crier of the Year.

And Mr Craner’s proclamation – about what makes Beaminster a great place to visit at Christmas - also took the prize for the cry with the best content.

It isn’t the first time that Mr Craner’s traditional cries , historically a way of alerting townsfolk to important official news, has taken the title and the Stanley Mansbridge trophy which he won in 2008.

The contest this year was held in Wimborne, and Beaminster now stands to host next year’s competition.

Wimborne in Bloom chair and town stalwart Anthony Oliver and wife Christine picked the eventual winners based on their diction and clarity before trophies were awarded by town mayor, Coun John Burden.

Mr Craner, who lives in Bridport, is a retired school site manager and he works part time in a supermarket.

Formerly a morris dancer and a keen enthusiast for English traditions, it was while travelling to carry out his duties as crier in the Somerset town that he always drove through Beaminster.

“I always thought that a town like Beaminster would really benefit from a town crier so I approached the town clerk and eventually it was agreed that I should carry out the role.