I have never been sure if the sun shines on the righteous or the devil looks after his own. However, whichever it was, it was once again applicable in Ilminster on Saturday 11th May. After a cloudy start the sun shone and the people of Ilminster were once again treated to the noisy and colourful spectacle of 19 Town Criers, many accompanied by beautifully dressed Escorts together with 3 Junior Cries parading through the streets.
The traditional Home Cry was first to be heard with invitations to visit various towns. After a short break the 3 Junior criers competed with a themed cry, “I want to …..” Some of their ambitions were enlightening .
The second half of the competition was opened with a benchmark cry on the theme “ My first …” from the retired veteran Town Crier of Ilfracombe, Roy Goodwin. It was a very great pleasure to welcome him and his wife Bee as our special guests. As usual Roy’s cry was highly amusing and, unusually for him, not at all risqué. The variety of “firsts” from our criers was a highly eclectic mix.
At the conclusion of the public event the company repaired to Ilminster Arts Centre for the presentation of the awards, graciously conducted by our mayor Leanne Taylor, and an excellent buffet lunch provided by chef Annie (her coffee cake is a sheer delight.)
|Ilminster Champion||Mark Wylie, Calne|
|Runner up, Dillington Cup||John Pitt, Mayflower, Plymouth|
|Third Place||Andrew Norris, Wellington|
|Best Dressed Crier||Jackie Edwards, Kingsteignton|
|Best Dressed Escort||Rose Northcott, Penzance|
|Best Dressed Couple||Jackie Edwards and John Hart, Kingsteignton|
|Best Home Town Ambassador||Jackie Edwards, Kingsteignton|
|Junior Champion||Sophie Atyeo, Chard|
|Special Award, Best Female Crier||Jackie Edwards, Kingsteignton|
Congratulations to Jackie Edwards for her highly successfully cross border raid. Enjoy your haul of plunder.
Next year’s Ilminster will take place on Saturday 11th May, Somerset Day. The competition will also incorporate the Somerset Championship (formally held at Frome) and a new West Country Championship open to Town Criers from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset.