The National Town Criers Competition
A member has written to express regret that the borough council has withdrawn support for the popular Town Criers competition. This is one of a number of stringent budget cuts, often counter-intuitive, such as the apparent decision to reduce the tourist information service for Hastings.
In 2018 we brought out A Bellow of Criers, an illustrated booklet recording the tradition of town crying in Hastings and the history of town crying itself.
The active (in contrast to ceremonial) role of the town crier or bellman dates from the middle ages to the 18th century or even a little later, but subsequently waned.
To keep the memory of the tradition alive an organised championship was inaugurated in Hastings in 1912. Unfortunately, funding for participation in the championship has been increasingly hard to raise.
We understand, however, that Rye is intending to take over Hastings’ part in the competition. The best that can be said therefore is that the tradition will be continued by another of the “five Cinque Ports and two Ancient Towns” close by.
If you would like to voice your views about this or any other matter of local concern, you may wish to write to Paul Barnett, Leader of the Council: