Oyez! Alnwick is launching the search for a new Town Crier

Oyez, oyez! Alnwick’s Town Crier could return this summer.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 24th May 2019, 2:00 pm
The late John Stevens
The late John Stevens

Alnwick Town Council, Alnwick Town Team, The Alnwick Garden, the Freemen of Alnwick, Alnwick Lions and Alnwick Rotary have got together to provide funding for a new Town Crier’s livery and membership of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers.

The funders will be working together over the coming weeks to arrange the appointment process for this voluntary position.

The new Crier will be hosted by Alnwick Town Council.

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The last voluntary Alnwick Town Crier, the late John Stevens, and his wife Joyce, were a very popular feature of the town.

John, 70, died three years ago following a battle with prostate cancer.

Tribute to Charles

At its annual meeting, Alnwick Town Council paid tribute to Coun Charles Westendarp, who died recently.

He was elected as a town councillor in May 2017 and played an active role on the council.

He was also heavily involved in a number of local organisations including Alnwick Baptist Church, Alnwick Civic Society, Gallery Youth, Bullfield Community Orchard and Alnwick In Bloom.

Tributes from a number of these organisations were read out at a service to celebrate his life in a packed Baptist Church.

Charles was a retired architect and part of his legacy was co-founding a charity in 2000 called New Life Nyambene, which worked with destitute street children in Kenya.

Coun Alan Symmonds said: “It was an honour to know Charles.

“When he moved to Alnwick from Kent, he quickly involved himself in local community life and made a difference to so many organisations.

“He will be missed by all who knew him.”

Citizens Advice update

At the full council meeting, Abi Conway, chief cxecutive of Citizens Advice Northumberland, reported that there is still a high level of demand for its service in Alnwick.

In 2018/19, it has supported 758 people from Alnwick town, an increase from 2017/18 of 580; dealt with 1,282 issues, up from 1,079 in 2017/18; undertook 1,349 activities on behalf of clients, up from 836; worked on 431 cases, an increase of 75; generated an income gain for Alnwick clients of £52,632; and supported Alnwick residents to manage £187,355.69 of debt, with £41,281 of debt written off.

She thanked the town council for its financial support, with which Citizens Advice can provide a laptop, tablet and another phone to support people in managing their welfare benefits accounts and enable claims to be made.

She reported that moving to the Lindisfarne Centre in December has meant that it can offer an additional appointment day for issues arising from drop-ins.