Crier raises decibels for Warwick
THE cries of Dalveen man Bob Townshend were heard throughout Maryborough as he stepped back in time to spread the word about Warwick at the 21st National Championships of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Australian Town Criers last weekend.
Mr Townshend joined 15 other bellmen (and women) in full regalia to compete for the national title of best old-time news man, at the championships which coincided with Maryborough’s Mary Poppins Festival.
Mr Townshend performed two cries at the event, which attracted competitors from as far away as Sydney and Torquay in Victoria.
Both cries were original work and written by Mr Townshend. The first was a home cry about Warwick and the second was themed on Mary Poppins.
It was his debut performance in the competition, but Mr Townshend said he was happy with the results.
Out of the 16 competitors, Mr Townshend came in eighth, but took out third place in the seniors (over 65 years old) category.
“I was especially chuffed with the third placing because the two fellows who beat me were very good,” he said.
“One of them has been a professional town crier since 1975 for Old Sydney Town and has represented Australia overseas, he’s just absolutely brilliant.
“The second fellow has also been doing it for many years and many of the people I beat have been around since the inaugural championships 21 years ago.
“So I feel proud to have come third.”
While his home cry painted a clear image of a Warwick winter and promoted local history and events such as the Jumpers and Jazz Festival, it was the Mary Poppins cry that secured him third place.
“For the Mary Poppins I received 88 out of 100 from the first judge, 92 from the second, but third gave me 99.5 out of 100,” he said.
“So that’s what got me over the line.”
He said he couldn’t wait to go head-to-head with other bellmen again next year in Moree, where the next championships were being held.
“I fully intend to go back and have been invited again,” he said.
“Hopefully next time I’ll do a bit better because I will have some experience.
“I noticed a few tricks of the trade the others had so hopefully they will help me out.”
Mr Townshend’s voice was heard in May ringing out in the Rose City, where he honed his technique as the official town crier at Warwick’s 150th birthday celebrations.
Mr Townshend was dressed stylishly for the occasion thanks to Dalveen artisans, seamstress Theresia Vanderpal, who created his distinguished regalia and Grace Cameron, who designed the special scroll from which Mr Townshend read his cries.
Bob Townshend’s home cry
Oyez. Oyez.. Oyez...
To the Mayor, councillors and good citizens of Maryborough, greetings from your counterparts in Warwick.
Known as the Rose and Rodeo City, historic buildings of local sandstone and a myriad of perfumed roses convey an air of grace, while horsepower, both animal and mechanical, creates excitement throughout the year.
Be assured of a warm welcome as trees colourfully dressed against the cold, music in the air, and Christmas in July make Warwick the place to celebrate winter during Jumpers and Jazz in July.
To escape the heat and humidity of the coast and enjoy four distinct seasons every year, I invite you to visit the city of Warwick.