Town criers from across the country had plenty to shout about at Calne’s fifth bellowing competition on Sunday, as sunny weather boosted spectator numbers.

The 14 contestants, in full regalia, made their speeches to the public and town councillors by the riverside at Beach Terrace.

The first cry was a home cry, on the subject of their choice, and the afternoon cry was on the topic of war and peace, to coincide with the First World War centenary.

For the first time, the competition included a junior cry, with Harrison Wylie, the son of Calne town crier Mark Wylie taking part.

Alex Borthwick, of Peace-haven in Sussex, and Tom Gahon, of Royal Wootton Bassett, also tried, with Steven Golding and Stanley Fisher who had come to watch.

Mark Wylie said: “They were just watching it with their families and I said, ‘Would anyone like a go?’ “The three official junior criers were excellent and the two little ones did really well, considering that this was the first time they had stood up in front of a huge crowd.

“We are definitely trying to encourage young people to take an interest in town crying, because this is something that’s a dying art. If you want it to keep going, you have to encourage the young.

“I’m biased, of course, but I think Harrison was the best. He’s only ten, so he thinks it’s brilliant to do what his dad does. He watches me and he learns.”

The contest coincided with a competition in Frome the day before and a joint cup, for the overall weekend winner, went to Peder Nielsen, of Bromyard, Herefordshire.

He also won first in Calne, with Roy Goodwin of Ilfracombe second and Ken Knowles, of Lichfield, third.

The best dressed crier prize went to Warminster’s Phil Seddon, and Lilian Heeks, of Trowbridge, won best dressed escort, as well as best dressed couple with husband Trevor.

Mr Wylie said: “Everyone was really impressed with how it went. I’m lucky that I’m supported by such a wonderful town council.

“As a result of the heat, a lot of families came down. A gentleman had to have medical attention. He was recording the whole thing and was overcome by the heat.

“The last I heard he was recovering in the back of the ambulance.”