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Oakham Town Council plans to recruit a new town crier

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Bells could soon be ringing out across Oakham as steps are taken to reinstate a town crier.

Oakham Town Council hopes to bring back the 18th century tradition early next year.

The town has a strong line of criers, with the Ellingworth family handing the role from father to son for at least three generations.

Former town crier Harry Ellingworth
Former town crier Harry Ellingworth

Oakham’s last known crier was Harry Rate, of Parkfield Road, who served until 1963.

In 1981 a competition was held to find a replacement town crier to open a medieval fair. It was won by businessman Jeff Dale, who now serves on Rutland County Council.

The suggestion of bringing back the role was backed by town councillors at their latest meeting.

Oakham mayor Zoe Nealson said the council must now draw up a job description and agree the terms of the role before opening up the application process.

She said: “We plan to hold a competition in the new year so everyone can come along and have a go. We want to make sure everyone who is interested has a chance to put themselves forward.”

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