Hastings town crier ‘best in Britain’ after Championship victory

Hastings' town crier Jon Bartholomew with his wife Victoria and daughter Elizabeth. Pictured in the grounds of Hastings Castle by Sid Saunders. SUS-160725-163327001
Hastings' town crier Jon Bartholomew with his wife Victoria and daughter Elizabeth. Pictured in the grounds of Hastings Castle by Sid Saunders. SUS-160725-163327001

Hastings’ town crier Jon Bartholomew returned home triumphant this weekend after having won the prestigious Loyal Company of Town Criers British Championship.

Jon, accompanied by his wife Victoria, was one of only 15 top town criers from across the UK to be invited to attend the Championship, held in Biddulph, on July 23.

The criers were required to perform two separate themed cries during the day and were judged on five different disciplines: confidence and bearing, diction and inflection, volume and clarity, content of cry and engaging the public audience. With a combined total of 50 marks per cry, in total Jon came away with a score of 90.2, having lost only 0.2 marks for missing out one word scrutinised by the ‘accuracy’ judge.

The event was rounded off when the colourful couple in their period costumes were also awarded the prize for best dressed crier and escort.

Jon said: “The whole day has been a great success for Hastings, and indeed Sussex, and I’m absolutely chuffed to now hold the title British Champion, and I’m so proud to bring home the cup and title, as the other criers competing were some of the best in the UK. It’s also a great accolade for my wife and I to win best dressed couple too.”

Jon has been the official town crier of the Borough of Hastings since 1998 and although he has won a number of tournaments both nationally and internationally, this is the first time he has attended and won the British Championship.

Jon now has his sights firmly fixed on attending the World Championships in Chester in 2017.

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