Mike Middleton is the Town Crier for Poulton
Mike is available for all kinds of public and private functions as a service to the community. He gives his time for free for the general benefit of the community. Any paid work is for good causes.
Mike is able to make all manner of announcements – for public events as well as private ones.
You’ll hear him ringing the handbell and shouting “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez” which means “hear ye,” and is a call for silence and attention.
The official appointment of Town Crier was made by the Poulton Partnership, a group who organise a variety of events in the town.
The Town Crier outfit was especially made to very high standard (it has to last), and paid for by the Gala fund. It’s carefully looked after, as it has to last for many years to come. The elaborate dress and tri-cornered hat are traditional and date back to the 18th century.
Mike says “In time I hope to generate funds enough to re-pay the Gala Fund for the uniform, but in the meantime it is important that the people of Poulton know that I give my time freely, for their benefit and that of the town.”
More about the Role of the Town Crier
The role of Town Crier dates back to Medieval England, in the time before printed news had been invented and the majority of people were illiterate. The Town Crier was the main form of news in a town, and would have shared Royal Proclamations, bylaws, market days and adverts for local produce.
A slightly less savoury aspect of their role was to escort unfortunates to the workhouse, put minor criminals in the stocks, and administer floggings. The Town Crier also had the macabre task of reading out why a person was being hanged, and then helping to cut them down after the task had been completed.
When the Town Crier had read out his messages, he would fasten it to the door frame of the local hostelry, which is where the expression ‘Posting a Notice’ comes from, and is why some local newspapers are called ‘The Post’.
One other fascinating fact is that Town Criers were protected in law because they sometimes brought bad news – hence another expression ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’. The Town Crier acted in the name of the ruling King or Queen and so to harm them was considered to be treason.
Find out More
If you’d like to book the Town Crier for your event, just email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Poulton Town Crier, Mike Middleton