Meeting – 5th February 2019

January 30th, 2019 by JCope

Our next meeting at St Saviour’s Church Hall is on Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 8.00pm when we will have a presentation by Ken Knowles entitled “The Town Crier of Lichfield”.

  Ken is a colourful character who has been Town Crier and sword bearer for the city of Lichfield for the past eight years. He has cried his way to victory after winning an ancient contest of Criers from across the UK. He was judged to be the country’s best Crier under Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers rules on accuracy, diction, volume and inflection at the contest in Alcester Town, Court Leet. I hope he comes in the traditional eighteenth century dress of a red and gold coat, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat.

   It is thought that the post of Town Crier came over from Normandy with William the Conqueror in 1066. The traditional proclamation of “Oyez” is derived from the old Norman for “Listen to This”. Prior to widespread literacy, town criers were the means of communication with the people of the town as many could neither neither read nor write. Proclamations, local bylaws, market days and adverts were all proclaimed by the crier. In Goslar, Germany, a crier was employed to remind the local populace not to put “anything unpleasant” in the river the day before water was drawn for brewing beer!   

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