Bognor’s town crier voted ‘best dressed’ in UK

Bognor’s Town crier took home the prize for ‘best dressed’ at a competition in Hastings over the weekend.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:12 pm

Bognor’s town crier took home the prize for best dressed at the 68th annual town crier’s competition in Hastings over the weekend.

Taking place at Butler’s Gap in Hastings Old town, and hosted by Hastings town crier Jon Bartholomew, it saw criers across the country vying for the top spot in a number of categories.

Competing four years after her first win in the event, Bognor Regis town crier Mrs Jane Smith was delighted with Saturday’s result, not least because she personally designed and created her own town crier regalia.

Bognor Regis town crier Jane Smith with other criers from across Sussex. Photo: Bognor Regis Town Council

“It was such an honour to be there, representing Bognor Regis,” she said.

“And to have been joined by lots of familiar faces from four years ago, as well as other Sussex criers, was lovely.

“I had the honour of taking part in the American Cry, which is performed before the parade of the Bonfire Association starts.

“It was a wonderful day all round and to win the award was the icing on the cake.”

Rebecca Vervecken, secretary for the Bognor Regis Town Council and Town Crier, added: “Everyone at Bognor Regis Town Council is beyond proud of Jane and so grateful for all that she does to put Bognor Regis in the spotlight.

“This latest win is no more than she deserves.”

Alongside the quality of their regalia, town criers were also judged for the quality of their cries, with awards for first, second and third place.

Unfortunately, Mrs Smith wasn’t able to walk away with the top prize in this category, with first place going to Alistair Chisholm, a town crier from Dorchester, who celebrated his twelfth consecutive victory at the competition this year.

Even so, Mrs Smith, who has served as Bognor’s town crier since 2017, is more than just a pretty face and being judged ‘best dressed’ in Britain isn’t the only honour she received this year.

She was also chosen to write a proclamation which will announce the Queen’s historic platinum Jubilee next year, a proclamation which is due to be read aloud by 145 other criers across the country and commonwealth as beacons are lit in honour of the occasion.