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Rainy days and Sunday didn’t get them down

THEY were not singing and dancing in the rain, but a collection of robust town criers made themselves heard at a competition in Dartmouth on Sunday.
In atrocious conditions, a party of eight town criers and their escorts paraded with umbrellas from Bayards Cove Inn to the bandstand for the final day of this year’s Sir Francis Drake Armada Cup.
Only the day before the colourfully dressed ensemble – from home and abroad – had made their proclamations in the sunshine at Kingsbridge, but on Friday had battled equally difficult weather in the Salcombe Cup.
The three day event was jointly hosted by Kingsbridge Town Crier Roger Pinder and Dartmouth’s own Town Crier Lez Ellis.
Les, who took the best dressed prize in the Kingsbridge Cup, said Sunday’s leg for the Peter Randall Memorial Cup took place in wind and driving rain.
‘We battled through the weather,’ he said.
‘It was blowing up under the gazebos and everyone got a soaking, even the judges who were trying to keep their paperwork dry. But we soldiered on.’
Criers came from all around the country and as far afield as Bermuda, where Lez and his wife, Liz, had visited earlier this year to take part in a major competition.
Accompanying the Bermudan criers – Ed Christopher from Hamilton and David Frith from St George’s – was the island’s mayor Francis Quinella.
Overall winner of the coveted Sir Francis Drake Armada Cup was David Hinde, from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, who also won the Salcombe and Kingsbridge Cups.
Ed Christopher won the Dartmouth Cup and was best dressed of the competition.
The best dressed escort was Jenny Smirthwaite from Liskeard, Cornwall, who along with her husband, Chris, won the best dressed couple.

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