Town criers go head-to-head in competition

Banbury Cake: Anthony Church. Pictures: OX53810 Ric Mellis Buy this photo Anthony Church. Pictures: OX53810 Ric Mellis

TOWN criers and organ players gathered in the centre of Banbury to create a colourful reminder of a bygone era.

Fifteen of England’s town criers took part in the eighth national Town Criers Competition on Saturday at Whately Hall Hotel in Horsefair.

Contestants were judged on two cries and this year’s categories were ‘what happened on this day’ and ‘which Olympian would you be’.

The event coincided with Banbury’s 20th annual charity Street Organ Festival. Throughout the day street organists dressed in Victorian costumes, played popular tunes and shook collection tins for Banbury-based Dogs for the Disabled.

In its 20-year history, the contest has raised about £120,000 for local charities.

Amongst the town criers taking part was Marjorie Dodds from Chester-le-Street.

Oxford, Banbury and Chipping Norton town crier Anthony Church said: “Everyone had a super day.

“The overall winner was Adrian Holmes, from Sandwell near Birmingham.”

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