Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Town criers from across the globe will converge on the ancient Mid Wales border town of Montgomery this autumn to put their vocal chords to the test in a prestigious annual competition.

Montgomery Town Crier for the past 22 years, Sue Blower, has secured The Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers (AHGTC) Guild Championships for her home town on from September 13-15, with support from the town council.

Around 40 town criers are expected to arrive in the pretty former county town, which is overlooked by a castle, on Friday, September 13 for a reception in the Town Hall, followed by the competition next day and a church parade on the Sunday.

Sue is now busy trying to raise the £5,000 she needs to stage the competition and is looking for sponsors to join Montgomery Town Council which has already pledged £1,000. Potential sponsors can contact her on Tel: 07939 128286 or email: [email protected] .

“It’s a huge honour and a real coup for Montgomery and Wales to have been approached to host the Guild Championships which attracts competitors from across the world to compete for the stunning silver George Carpenter trophy,” she explained.

“It’s also an exciting personal challenge because I have to raise £5,000 to stage the event. I hope local businesses will recognise the value of sponsoring an event that will generate worldwide interest and attract many visitors to the town and surrounding area.

“Town criers from America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be competing against their counterparts from the UK in my home town. I just wish my parents were alive to see the competition which will be a fantastic spectacle not only for Montgomery but for the whole of Wales.”

Sue is receiving widespread support, including from Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services and a regional MS for Mid and West Wales, Eluned Morgan, who has agreed to join the competition judging panel, which will also include the Earl of Powis.

The international town criers will be asked to deliver two cries in the championships – the home cry and a set cry on a particular topic – with each cry not exceeding 140 words.

The competition will take place in the Town Square, with Broad Street closed to traffic for the day. An area of the street will be closed off for food and drink vendors to add to the occasion.

“It’s not the first time Montgomery has hosted a competition for town criers, having twice held previous contests over the past decade, but this will certainly be the biggest and most prestigious,” added Sue.

She has already booked places for the visiting town criers and their partners at the Dragon Hotel and with other local accommodation providers and says many of the visitors plan to stay in the town for a few extra days.

One of these is Daniel Laflèche, from Canada, official provincial crier of Ontario since 1984 and the official town crier for the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau since 1981. He holds the title of The Most Elegant Crier in the World.

An actor and former history teacher, Daniel is also a storyteller and has agreed to visit local primary schools in Montgomery and surrounding villages to share his stories during his 10-day stay.

By Editor