|Otley, nestled between cosmopolitan Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales, is no stranger to town crying. The office of Otley Bellman has been around since the Middle Ages and current incumbent, Terry Ford (pictured), originally from the north-east, has won a string of gongs, including that of 2017 national champion.
As home crier, Terry will welcome contestants from Southport to St Anne’s, including last year’s champion Elizabeth Anderson-Watson, the Barnoldswick Town Crier, to take part in the competition that will be held in the town’s historic Market Place.
The event will see 16 town criers parade through the town with their consorts before the hotly anticipated shouting match begins at 11.30am.
Contestants will vie for a series of prizes including Overall Winner, Runner Up, Best Dressed Town Crier, Best Dressed Consort and Best Ambassador. Proceedings will close with an awards presentation and the chance for members of the public to have a go at ‘crying’ themselves.
The competition will be held on the same weekend as the long-standing Otley Folk Festival and on a day where the town’s main thoroughfare, Boroughgate, will be pedestrianised in celebration of World Car-Free Day.
Otley Open Town Crier competition, Otley Market Place, 11.15-16.30, Sunday September 22, 2019. See visitotley.co.uk for more information