New livery for Stamford Town Crier

Town Crier Andrew Downing in his new livery with Mayor Clem Walden and civic officer Mark Murtagh EMN-140807-143950001
Town Crier Andrew Downing in his new livery with Mayor Clem Walden and civic officer Mark Murtagh EMN-140807-143950001
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The Stamford Town Crier has brand new livery.

Andrew Downing will don his hand-crafted Lincoln Green coat, breeches, shirt and leather-buckled shoes for the first time on August 4 in Broad Street, for commemorations of the start of World War 1.

Mr Downing said: “When I first started I had to hire the outfit. It was a Captain Hook costume. So the council agreed it would be a good idea to get new livery.”

The livery was made by the Cheshire-based costume makers Cloak’d and Dagger’d.

Mr Downing said: “I feel quite the part when I wear it.

“I now feel that I may well take part in town crier competitions nationally, representing Stamford.”

Before people could read, it was town criers who brought news to them. They would read a proclamation, usually at the door of the local inn, then nail it to the doorpost.

It is a tradition which resulted in the expression “posting a notice” and the naming of newspapers as “The Post”.

Their announcements are always preceded by the traditional ‘Oyez ,Oyez, Oyez’, which means listen in French and conclude with ‘God save the Queen’.

The tradition goes back to 1066 when William The Conqueror appointed people to proclaim who their new king was.

The phrase ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ was a royal command to protect them as town criers sometimes brought bad news such as tax increases.