As long as there has been news to share, there have been messengers to deliver it!
Town Criers were the original ‘newsmen’ finding their origins in the early Greek Mytholgy. Town Criers in Britain are thought to have come to the fore in 1066 when news of William of Normandy’s invasion was known. Men employed to remind everybody of Harold’s authority passed information from town to town. These individuals were specifically employed to call out the King’s proclamation. In later times, they were provided with a bell and used to make important proclamations in the area in which they lived.
As the literacy of Britain’s population remained low well into the late 19th century, people came to rely on criers and heralds as a useful way of hearing about proclamations, edicts, laws and news, as books and newspapers were generally only accessible to a small percentage of the English population. Proclamations, edicts, laws and news may well have been written on paper, or parchment, however they were usually passed on to the general public by the Town Crier – the first (talking) newspaper.
Oyez, Oyez, Oyez roughly translated from Old French, as “Hark” or “Listen”.
Odiham Parish Council appointed Natalie as its first Town Crier in 2022 leading up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The title “Town Crier” applies whether the area is a town or village. Natalie joined Town Criers across the UK in following the national proclamation script issued by the Palace, proclaiming the lighting of a beacon on Beacon Field, and has since made several proclamations for community events.
People showed support for this longstanding tradition and Town Criers came into the limelight again later in the year to proclaim the new King.
Natalie says “It is a great honour to be appointed Town Crier and I feel truly privileged to do so for such a fantastic town.
I am now, not only part of a wonderful community in Odiham but I’ve now also been welcomed to another group of the Town Criers in the UK but am connected to around the world with our own Facebook group. To be part of such an ancient tradition dating back as far as 1066 is just brilliant, so once again Thank You Odiham for trusting me to do this role.
Oyez Oyez Oyez
Your Town crier
Please get in touch if you would like Natalie to join your community event: