Hexham Town Council is holding a competition to find Hexham’s future Town Bellman or Bellwoman (Town Crier) at 11:00am on Saturday 24th October outside Hexham Abbey. Anyone interested in becoming the future Bellman of Hexham is invited to apply using the details below!
The role of Town Bellman in England goes back to Medieval times when they were the means of communication since many people could not read or write. Proclamations, local bylaws, market days, adverts, were all proclaimed by the crier.
These days the Bellman makes public announcements, for example about local events, using a bell to attract people’s attention and calling ‘Oyez, oyez, oyez’ before the announcement.
Traditionally the Bellman of Hexham wore a suit of blue cloth with scarlet trim and bright buttons, alongside a pair of boots and hat.
The competition will start with three Town Criers from other towns showcasing their skills, followed by the Hexham auditions. Each applicant will be asked to read a three-minute script, as well as a three-minute improvisation on a topic of their choice. Prizes will be available for different categories (to be announced) and the winner will be chosen by Hexham Town Council.
To apply for the competition please send your contact details including your name and email address to Jane Kevan, Town Clerk at email@example.com or call 01434 609575. Please note you do not have to be a resident or work in Hexham as the competition is open to anyone with an interest in the area!
More information on the role of a Town Crier can be found here. A selection of photos from other areas can also be seen below.