National championship award for Bognor’s town crier

Bognor's Jane Smith collects the award at her first championship
Bognor's Jane Smith collects the award at her first championship

In her first year standing in the National Town Crier Championship – and just three months into the role – our Bognor Regis Town Crier has been named best dressed.

Despite admitting she had butterflies, Jane Smith walked away with the title and a rather impressive piece of silverware in Hastings on Saturday.

Believed to be in its 65th year, the event is the oldest town criers’ competition in the country.

The mayor of Hastings, councillor Judy Rogers, watched the competition and presented the prizes.

In addition to highlighting the links between the tradition and the town – which is believed to have originated with the Norman Conquest of 1066, as ‘bellmen’ figures are depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry, councillor Rogers said she was ‘especially delighted’ to see that this year boasted two female entrants.

Writing on her Facebook page, Jane said Hastings had been ‘fantastic’.

“Thank you so much for your fellowship, support, advice and most of all, the laughs,” she said.

The overall winner of the championship was Terry Ford, the ‘bellman’ of Otley, West Yorkshire, while Andrew Fleming, from Swanage came second and third went to Jon Borthwick, of Lewes and Peacehaven.