Criers silenced as contest called off

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A TOWN crier competition which attracts entrants from all across the country has been cancelled.

Market Deeping Town Council has decided not to hold the competition next year to save money and to allow the new crier time to settle in.

Amanda Bosworth officially took over the post at the Market Deeping Christmas festival on November 27.

The previous crier, Brenda Willison, stepped down after moving to Matlock in Derbyshire.

Mayor of Market Deeping, Coun Bob Broughton, said the competition, which usually takes place in the spring, would be back in 2013.

“It has been a well attended event. We always mix it with a market and a children’s competition.

“But the council felt that there was not enough time to organise a competition.

“We are going to give the new crier time to settle into the role.”

Scrapping next year’s competition will save the council £700. Councillors last month agreed to increase the town’s precept to help keep the Deeping St James Youth Centre open.

The council has also taken on an extra park keeper and needs £7,500 to pay their wages next year.

But Coun Broughton did concede that the competition would have brought extra trade to Market Deeping.

He added: “It brings a bit of trade into the town and people spend money while they are here.

“You never know how much people are going to spend but it does put us on the map. I certainly hope we can bring it back.”

The town crier competition has traditionally brought many visitors to the town, with criers from across the world arriving to take part.

Contestants’ voices bellow out throughout the day as they compete for a number of prizes, including the overall winner, best-dressed crier, best-dressed escort and best cry. The event also features a junior crier competition.

Amanda said: “Not having the competition works out very well because I am new to the role.

“It will give me the chance to participate in some competitions elsewhere and get a feel for how they are organised.

“I want to put my own stamp on it and I can’t wait for the competition in 2013. It’s a great opportunity for me.”

Town criers came from as far afield as Australia and Canada to take part in the international competition held in the town in 2010.