Oyez! Oyez! In with a shout to be new town crier

Oyez! Oyez! In with a shout to be new town crier

Alistair Chisholm town crying

It’s a crying shame!
Champion town crier Alistair Chisholm, who has been proclaiming and pontificating his way rather noisily around Dorchester for the past 27 years, is hanging up his bell and his tricorn hat.
Now the hunt is on for his successor – but you’ll have to get in quick, as entries close on February 12.
Alistair, who is now 78, cried his last on New Year’s Eve, when a crowd of hundreds gathered to hear him ring in 2024.
Now the town is on the hunt for a special individual to fill his buckled shoes.
Eight would-be town criers have already thrown their hats in the ring – but no women, which Alistair says is a shame, as so many successful criers are ladies. Weymouth still feels the loss of Doris Eastwood, who for many years brightened the resort with her cries. She was crowned national champion, ladies’ world champion and guild champion in her time.
Alistair, who has been crowned national champion an amazing 11 times, said: “We are a special breed. A bit eccentric, perhaps, oddball extroverts. In these days of increasingly fast communications it is lovely to have this link with the past. Dorchester has a long and fascinating story to tell. Town criers add a bit of colour and a bit of flair.”
He added: “The best thing about the role is most children see your tricorn hat and believe you to be a pirate. So I’ve been looting ships of their gold for 27 years…”
Anyone who would like a bash at being town crier should apply to the town council, which will select a number of candidates to audition live in the town centre.
n To apply, submit a letter to Dorchester Town Council by February 12. Write to: Assistant Town Clerk at Dorchester Town Council, 19 North Square, Dorchester DT1 1JF or email: tonyhurley @dorchester-tc.gov.uk

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