The call of victory as Calne town crier wins
Calne's town crier Mark Wylie has plenty to shout about after winning the national town criers’ championship in Hastings.
Earlier this month Mr Wylie, from Studley, beat 24 other competitors to win the coveted silver cup, which will be displayed in the town hall’s trophy cabinet.
Judges marked him for volume, clarity, diction and inflection, and he dressed in civic robes designed to match Calne’s town flag.
He performed a home town cry, a speech based on the history of Calne, and a cry which focused on major events of the past 60 years.
He said: “I was the second last in the morning competition and when I stood up the heavens opened. “I had to start the speech in a torrential downpour and everyone rushed for cover, so there was just me and the judges. I was third in the afternoon so it was over quite quickly.
“I stood next to Ken Knowles from Mitchfield. He had come second two years running and I was convinced that he was the winner. He was the first person to congratulate me. That’s the amazing thing about town criers, they’re all gentlemen and they’re pleased for you if you win.”
Mr Wylie, 46, is a seasoned crier and has already taken part in 12 competitions this year, out of which he won eight, came second three times and third once.
But he said he was surprised to win the national competition. He said: “The trophy dates back to 1946. There’s an incredible history behind it. To have my name on the bottom along with all those people from history is a great feeling.”
Town clerk Linda Roberts said Mr Wylie is a great ambassador for Calne. She said: “For someone who did not initially feel confident in entering competitions, winning the National Championship is a fantastic achievement. I know the town council are very proud of what Mark has achieved.”