Oyez Oyez - Weymouth could have its own town crier again

Oyez Oyez - Weymouth could have its own town crier again

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:15pm 31st January 2020.

Weymouth BID want to bring the role of a town crier back to Weymouth.

The proposal is being considered by Weymouth town councillors in the coming days.

Councillors will be told that while Portland and Dorchester has its own town criers, along with other Dorset towns, Weymouth has been without one for several years.

The role dates back thousands of years when few people could read or write and criers were used as a means of passing important information to the community.

'Why should Weymouth have a town crier?'

The idea comes from the town’s Business Improvement District which could fund up to £3,000 for civic regalia, including waistcoat, caped cloak, breeches, stockings and buckled shoes.

BID members believe the crier would serve as an attraction at events, to promote local civic pride and add an additional dimension to civic events, including taking part in national competitions and other events which would promote the town.

Weymouth BID will be taking a request to their board in late February to secure the funding, should the town council agree to bring back the post.

Alistair Chisholm
Dorchester Town Crier, Alistair Chisholm

'Competition'

If both the council and the BID agree a competition to find a new town crier could be held in April 2020 – judged by the mayor and existing town criers from surrounding areas.

This Wednesday’s (5th) town council finance committee will be told that the post would be voluntary with town council staff responsible for receiving requests to attend events, estimated at about two hours a week.

'Costs'

The regalia would be gifted to the council on the understanding that a town crier is kept in post for attending local events.

Should a town crier not be in post, the BID may request the return of any original items. 

The Town Council would be responsible for the upkeep and replacement of any of the crier’s items.

The only cost expected to be a small fund to assist with the expenses for attending regional and national events. These costs would be shared with the BID.

If the finance committee agrees the request will go to the full town council on February 19th.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter