Hear ye! Old Town Crier victory

Old Town Crier Competition, Hastings Old Town Carnival Week 2011. Nick Lynas (winner), Deeday White, Kieth Leech (runner up) Picture:  Matt Stabeler: http://oldtowncarnivalweek.co.uk/photos

Old Town Crier Competition, Hastings Old Town Carnival Week 2011. Nick Lynas (winner), Deeday White, Kieth Leech (runner up) Picture: Matt Stabeler: http://oldtowncarnivalweek.co.uk/photos

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CRIES echoed from the steps of St Clements Church as a host of hopefuls battled it out for the prestigious post of Old Town Crier on Sunday.

After a close-fought round of pealing handbells and hearty crying, the nine entrants were whittled down to two winners.

Nick Lynas and Kaye French, both of the Old Town, will hold the official posts of men’s and women’s Old Town Crier until next year.

Keith Leech and Lisa Wickens took the deputy posts.

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week co-ordinator Ian Porter said the crowd gathered along High Street was the biggest ever seen for a crier’s competition.

“We’ve got a couple of worthy criers now, who will do us proud over the year,” he said.

Veteran crier Nick has held the post many times before, but Lisa picks up the handbell for the first time.

Criers each read the same rhyming passage at the top of their voice. Each was judged on their diction, clarity, the state of their uniform and, vitally, their loudness.

The winners head the final procession on Saturday, and represent the Old Town through the year.