Peacehaven town crier in top three in string of contests

Peacehaven Town Crier Jon Borthwick
Peacehaven Town Crier Jon Borthwick
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The town crier for Peacehaven celebrated his fourth year in the post by being placed in the top three in several town crying competitions this June.

Jon Borthwick, 33, who is one of the youngest town criers in the country, represented Peacehaven in the Arundel Town Crying Competition on June 8, achieving third place.

He was marked by volume, clarity, diction and inflection.

At the Frome Town Criers Competition, held amidst rain, thunder and lightning, he came first, on Saturday June 15 and then the next day he came second in the Calne Town Criers Competition in Wiltshire on Sunday.

As a result of his performance in both contests he was awarded the Wessex Crown.

The top crier of both days was Ken Knowles from Lichfield, who narrowly beat Jon to the award by 0.5 points.

The competitions, hosted by individual members of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers, are held throughout the country from early spring through to mid October where they all gather for the National Open Competition in Hastings.

Jon said: “It was amazing - especially being so new at it.

“There is one town crier who had been doing it for 37 years.

“I’m still the youngest town crier by about 16 years.

“For me it’s being able to promote Peacehaven, which is what I do as a town crier.”

Jon continued: “Town criers usually have to prepare two cries per competition - the first being their ‘home’ cry - promoting the highlights of their home town to the people gathered at the host town, and a second ‘themed’ cry.

“The themed cries can vary from ‘Bruce Forsythe appearing at Glastonbury’ to ‘a place of interest in West Sussex’ or even just ‘Bacon’!

“All the cries must start with the traditional ‘Oyez Oyez Oyez’ and end with ‘God Save the Queen!’”

Jon was appointed to the role in 2009. He said town criers were a welcome addition to social or community events.

He can often be seen calling people to attend late night shopping evenings or farmers’ markets throughout the year.

If you would like Jon to attend your event in the Peacehaven, Brighton or Lewes area, you can phone the Information Office at Peacehaven Town Council on 01273585493, e-mail him at jonbee@me.com, or follow him on Twitter @JonOyez.