GALLERY: Oyez! Oyez! The bells ring out at town criers do battle for Eel Day crown

Brenda Willison, town crier of Newmarket, with Avril Hayter-Smith, Ely's town crier and husband Grah

Brenda Willison, town crier of Newmarket, with Avril Hayter-Smith, Ely's town crier and husband Graham. - Credit: Archant

Many of the country’s finest town criers descended on Ely over the weekend to battle it out for the title of top crier at Eel Festival.

While the food festival was in full swing on Palace Green, down at The Maltings, more than 20 town criers, consorts and ‘keepers of the bells’ from around the UK were putting their cries to the judges.

Leading the panel were mayor of Ely, Cllr Elaine Griffin-Singh, and mayor elect, Cllr Lis Every, who were ably assisted by Ely’s very own town crier and event organiser, Avril Hayter-Smith.

After some intense deliberation, the competition was given to John Stevens, of Alnwick, with honourable mentions for Mike Wade, of Thetford and Brandon, Paul Gough, of Nuneaton and Bedworth, John and Janice Parsons, of Ottley, Marilyn Stenner, of Darlington, and Paul Tainton, of Stafford.


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