Oyez, Oyez!

Dorchester Town Crier Alistair Chisholm has something to shout about.

We was crowned champion at the Southern England Town Criers competition.

An impressive 14 criers from a wide area were in fine voice as the contest attracted crowds in Wimborne on Bank Holiday Monday.

The event was organised by Chris Brown, who is Town Crier and Town Mayor’s Serjant and his Deputy Mel Gudger who is Town Crier of Pamphill and Shapwick.

Originally held as part of the Blandford Forum Georgian Fayre, the contest is now held in Wimborne every other year.

The day started with a parade from the Allendale Centre led by the Dorset Youth Marching Band to the Town Square. Before ‘Crying’ commenced the band gave a display in the Square.

Introducing the Criers, Chris Brown welcomed everybody including the Town Mayor Cllr Mrs Kelly Webb who had earlier drawn the running order for the two lots of ‘Cries’.

In the morning the first round of ‘Cries’ was the ‘Home Town Cry’ and after a break for lunch at the Allendale Centre the second round of ‘Cries’ was with the theme ‘A Cry of the Criers choice’.

It was a closely fought contest with only half a point separating each of the top three. Winner was Alistair Chisholm of Dorchester with second Christian Ashdown from Haslemere and third Gez Clark, all the way from Eccleston in Lancashire.

There were also prizes for the Best Dressed Crier which was won by Christian Ashdown, and the Best Dressed Couple, won by Les and Liz Ellis from Dartmouth.

Joan Dauncey from Melksham was named Best Dressed Escort

All the winners were presented by the Town Mayor with an annual trophy, to be returned next year, and a trophy to keep.

Speaking after the event Chris Brown said: “It was a really good competition with a high standard of Cries and a large and engaged audience both in the morning and the afternoon.”

He said all those who took part were impressed with the standard of entries and the standard of the judging.

Mr Brown, a former national champion, said there are around 200 Town Criers across the country and competitions are held nationwide throughout the summer.

He thanked all the spectators.