For crying out loud, it’s just champion!

Armed Forces parade in Alnwick.'Common bellman John Stevens opened the proceedings.
Armed Forces parade in Alnwick.'Common bellman John Stevens opened the proceedings.

OYEZ, Oyez, Oyez! A town crier competition is coming to Alnwick to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch this summer.

Organised by Alnwick’s own Town Crier, John Stevens, as part of the Festival of Alnwick, it will see up to 10 criers from across the country visiting the town on Saturday, June 9, to compete for the Alnwick Champion title.

The competition will take place on a stage in Alnwick Market Place at 1pm.

Each crier will read their own cry, of a topic yet to be decided but likely to be related to the Olympics, and will be accompanied by their wife or partner.

The cry will have to be between 75 and 125 words long including Oyez, Oyez, Oyez at the start and God Save The Queen at the end.

John said: “I think the festival is a fabulous idea.

“Anything that puts Alnwick on the map is good in my book.

“My wife and I go to various competitions all over the country totally at our own expense, firstly because we enjoy it but more importantly we are there promoting our town to all these people.

“It is going to be a very prestigious event and although I am not a particularly sporting man I can understand the excitement it is generating because here in Alnwick we have so much going for us.”

John is planning on inviting criers from Liverpool, Halifax, Ely and other towns and cities.

The Festival of Alnwick will run from Saturday, June 9, to Friday, June 15, with a host of activities taking place throughout the week.

On Thursday, June 14, the Olympic Torch will stop overnight in the town before making its way to Newcastle on the Friday.

Anyone wishing to get involved withe the festival can contact Karen Larkin by emailing karen@festivalofalnwick.co.uk or calling 07846548929.

You can also keep up to date with plans for the festival at www.festivalofalnwick.co.uk