Bognor Regis Town Crier

 Jane Smith 

 14th October 2017 - Bognor Regis Town Crier is declared Best Dressed at the National Town Criers' Championships held in Hastings! 

 

The National Town Criers' Championship is the oldest Town Criers' competition in the country and is organised by Hastings Borough Council.  This year the performances of the Town Criers was judged on clarity, diction, inflection and volume.  Entrants were also judged for their fit of costume, bearing and overall appearance and it was our Jane that was presented, by the mayor of Hastings, with the trophy for Best Dressed Town Crier.  Many congratulations to Jane on a winning success after only three month into the role - you have done the town of Bognor Regis proud!

 

 

 JULY 2017

The Town Council are pleased to announce that Mrs Jane Smith has been appointed to the honorary role of Town Crier for Bognor Regis.  Applicants to the role were interviewed at the Town Hall, by a panel comprising of Members and Officers from the Town Council, at which a trial cry was performed.  Jane's inaugural appearance was at the Town Council organised 'A Drive Through Time' event held in West Park on Sunday 16th July 2017.

 History of Town Criers in the United Kingdom 

The town crier, or bellman, can be traced back to medieval times when they were the main method used in communicating news with the people of the town, since many of them could neither read or write.  Royal proclamations, local bylaws, market days, latest news and any other important information were all proclaimed by a town crier throughout the centuries.  However, proclaiming the news was not their only role.  Historically town criers also patrolled the streets at night, acting as peace keepers and arresting wrongdoers, whereupon the town crier would take these rogues to the stocks for punishment.  Town criers were protected by law as anything they did was done in the name of the monarch and, therefore, to harm a town crier was considered treason.  This was a necessary safeguard to protect the town crier who sometimes had to deliver unwelcome news such as tax increases. The saying "don't shoot the messenger" was a real command!

 "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"

Usually seen carrying a large handbell, to attract people's attention, the town crier begins each cry with the words "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!".  'Oyez' (pronounced 'oh yay') comes from the French ouir ('to listen') and means "Hear ye".  

 

The cry would then end with the words 'God save the King' or 'God save the Queen'.  Having read out the message to the townspeople, the town crier would then attach it to the door post of the local inn.  The term 'posting a notice' comes from this act and is the reason why many newspapers are often called 'The Post'.

 BOOKING THE BOGNOR REGIS TOWN CRIER

Jane is available to attend a range of events including coffee mornings, fetes, festivals and parades.  The role of Town Crier is a voluntary one and no personal allowance is received by the postholder from the Town Council.

Individuals/Organisations wishing to benefit from the services of the Town Crier are asked to contribute towards out-of-pocket expenses.  Bookings within the six wards of Bognor Regis will be charged £20 plus VAT, payable in advance, to cover travel expenses and administration costs.  Events outside of the six wards will incur an additional charge to cover travel expenses to locations further away.

If the event requires Town Crier services for over 1 hour then an attendance fee of £20 for each additional hour will be payable, in cash, on the day of the event.  For events that are free for the public to attend, and that raise the profile of Bognor Regis , the attendance fee may be waived.  However, the administration charge will still be payable.  

Print a copy of the booking form here. Terms & Conditions can be found here.

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