Eliza is first lady Town Crier Champion

Hastings Week celebrations included hosting the 66th national Town Crier competition which, for the first time, was won by a lady.

Hundreds of people attended the annual event, with thirteen men and lady criers from across the country and Belgium vying for the title.

National Town Criers' Championship, part of Hastings Week. SUS-181014-093332001

National Town Criers' Championship, part of Hastings Week. SUS-181014-093332001

Each town crier had to perform two cries, the first about the towns they represent and the second on a topic of their choice.

Each cry must start with ‘Oyez’ which means all eyes, and ending with ‘God save the Queen.’

The competition was judged by local dignitaries, local residents and ex-army personnel.

Points were awarded for volume, diction, clarity and inflection, as well as the regalia being worn.

The theme for the second cry was ‘famous people from 1900-1980’.

The winner was Eliza Mowe from Barnoldswick, Lancashire.

Hastings has celebrated the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings annually on October 14 since 1968, following on from the hugely successful 900th anniversary in 1966.

This year, unusually, the week finished on Hastings Day, and ran from Saturday, October 6 until Sunday, October 14.

Cllr Kim Forward, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council says Hastings Week has expanded rapidly over the years. “It now includes a wide range of activities,” he said.

“Some are organised by the council, but many, like the fantastic torchlight procession, bonfire and fireworks, are organised by volunteers. From the opening ceremony on October 6, through to the ‘reflections’ closing event on Hastings Day there have been dozens of things to do, for residents and visitors.

“I can’t list all of them, but they include the classic car show, itself now a classic, the vintage motorbike and commercial vehicle shows, numerous talks and tours, and, of course, the 66th national town criers championship on Saturday, with prizes generously donated by the Hastings & St Leonards Society.

“I was really pleased this year that the winner was Eliza Mowe, of Barnoldswick, Lancashire, our very first ever female winner. On Saturday the torchlight procession, bonfire and fireworks, must have been one of the best displays we have ever seen.

“I’ve heard really great feedback on the procession and fireworks, and all credit for organising this must go to Hastings Borough Bonfire Society, and Renegade Pyrotechnics, themselves all volunteers.

“One of the last events of the week, on Hastings Day, was the Award of the Order of 1066. I was delighted that it went to Eve Martin, herself a former councillor here, and great community champion.

“So a great week, and I must once again thank everyone involved with helping to organise it, particularly the very many volunteers.”