LORD MAYOR OF CHESTER
Dear Julie and David,
Impossible to find the words to express fully my thanks for all your efforts to ensure the Tournament was such a great event and such a first rate success. Colour, pageantry, panache and elan – what more could our City want?
I know and appreciate the months and months of hard work that must have been put in by you both to provide such a spectacle, which demonstrates more clearly than words your passion for and commitment to our beloved Chester and its traditions. Sue and I salute you, being glad to meet so many friends from around the globe, for enabling our year to start so well…Yours, Graham Proctor, Lord Mayor of Chester 22nd June 2001
SPONSORS & PARTNERS – Tournament Feedback
Something to shout about! Just a line to tell you that footfall in The Forum Shopping Centre increased by around 10,000 shoppers over our normal number during the week in August when you staged the World Town Crier Tournament. Many thanks to all Criers for providing such wonderful support to us, especially with the Criers visit to The Forum on the Saturday. Lawrence Allen, Centre Manager, The Forum Shopping Centre
Thank you … for a lovely evening at the Awards Banquet, my sister and I enjoyed it immensely. It was good fun, and a very interesting change to the usual Saturday night out! We had some great people on our table and haven’t laughed so much for ages, three criers all at once certainly make diverting company! It was a pleasure for us to welcome Michael Wood and his wife to the Grosvenor, they were charming. Well done for organising such a splendid, colourful and very successful event for our city. Jan Roberts, The Chester Grosvenor
Thank you very much and I am glad that the event was a huge success for you. If you need any assistance in the future then please do not hesitate to contact the hotel. Clare Coop, Meetings and Events Co-ordinator, Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel
We thoroughly enjoyed having your guests stay with us and we hope to hear from you in the near future! Sarah, ABode Chester
It was a pleasure to have been able to assist. We very much enjoyed the evening at the Queens, so thank you. Dave & Kirsty, Stone Villa Hotel
This is our first year to be approached to be hosts for this event. We were honoured to be involved and delighted it was such an astounding success. Chester is such a magnificent city and it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase it via such cleverly coordinated events. We look forward to the next one! Thank you for your invitation to the Queen Hotel, it was lovely to meet the other hoteliers and their Criers. Jo and Gary Briggs, Kilmorey Lodge
It was a great pleasure and privilege to be involved in this world encompassing event. The Town Criers lit up the streets with their costumes and wit and provided wonderful entertainment for us and the public alike. It was an exciting and innovative marketing opportunity, and the Town Criers and the hosts entered into the spirit of the occasion with a number of clever and relevant legal proclamations. We were delighted to be mentioned as a Firm on many occasions. I would thoroughly recommend the experience to friends and colleagues were the opportunity to present itself again. Mark Brown, Taylor Brown Solicitors
It was amazing to see the criers in the cathedral and even better to see them at the top of the tower. They were great sports and have really helped to promote our tower tour, Cathedral at Height. We wish all of the competitors the best of luck – and hope they return to Chester, and the cathedral, very soon. Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral, Canon Peter Howell-Jones
The Coach House was very pleased to act as one of the host venues for the 2014 World Town Criers Tournament held in Chester. The spectacle of the event certainly animated the City Centre scene with participants travelling to Chester from near and far to add the wonderful vibrancy, colour, humour and sheer good will that the Tournament delivered to the people and the City of Chester. Great credit is due to David and Julie Mitchell for organising the tournament and to the City Council for its support. I have no doubt that the event enhanced visitor numbers to the City and certainly raised its profile with very valuable PR through its media coverage. Neil Owens, Director, Trustland
Congratulations go to yourself and Julie for coordinating a great and colourful event, which I was delighted to have participated in, in a small way. I have received nothing but praise for the competition, and the news from the Forum is brilliant. Cllr Stuart Parker, Executive Member for Culture and Economy, Cheshire West and Chester Council
What a fantastic week it has been, I don’t know if we could have squeezed any more fun in. It was like a big party with all the best people attending. Thank you so much for letting me and Martin be part of it … well done for organising the most spectacular event to occur in Chester in the last 4 years! Stephanie Burton, theportraitartist.net
Congratulations on a fantastic project. Brilliantly executed. Massively professional. A great success for Chester, the Profession and all involved. You and Julie can take great pride in the success of this wonderful spectacle. If it was in my power to Knight you I would be calling you to the Palace on Monday. Bill and Anne Leslie, Ellesmere Port Rotary Club
TOWN CRIERS & ESCORTS
Finally we have some free time to reflect on the Chester World Invitational Town Crier Tournament. Marilyn and I have nothing but praise for the whole event. The hotel accommodation provided was first class with a very comfortable room and an excellent breakfast. The distance from the competition arena was fine and we were given free parking at the hotel so didn’t need to move the car except for the short journey to Hunters Land Rover and the community afternoon at the Library. The welcome from the Lord Mayor at the Town Hall gave the event a certain gravitas at the beginning of the week. The Community Afternoon was a splendid idea. My visit to Lache Library was rewarding and I left with some satisfaction in giving something to the community. Competition days were run smoothly and it was good to ‘perform’ before appreciative crowds and audiences. It was encouraging that the winners were announced to our audience and not given out later just to the criers. The meals were always of a high standard and we were welcomed wherever we dined. Personally I enjoyed the Rotary meal as the entertainment offered in the After Dinner Story competition was first class. The following evening a group of criers and their families were invited back to the Chester Mill Hotel and Spa and were feted by Gordon the proprietor. It was a pleasure to have been involved. Chester provided an excellent opportunity for criers from all over the world to meet and compete in friendship. Here’s to the next time! Ken and Marilyn Knowles, Lichfield Crier and Escort
I would like to congratulate you both on a well-organized tournament, you must have both worked extremely hard. A big thanks to Julie and her hard working crew for making everything run so smoothly, and to you David for achieving the sponsorship and the marvellous meals, with special thanks to the lovely morning and lunch with your friends at Northgate Church. The accommodation and the staff at the Crowne Plaza were fantastic and the location for us (especially me) was perfect. It was good to catch up with old friends made in 1987. Thanks for all your updates and look forward to seeing you both again in the near future. Trevor Heeks, Town Crier of Trowbridge
Your comp we enjoyed very much. Our hotel the Abbots Well looked after us very well. The hospitality from all concerned was fabulous. We met lots of lovely people & made lots of new friends. We cannot fault anything. It was a fabulous week. We would like to thank you Julie & all concerned that made the week possible & all the people who behind the scenes that you never see. Oh one more thing put us down for your next one. Devlin Hobson, Town Crier of Kidsgrove
Here our report of our wonderful week in Chester: We had a great time in Chester. That our English wasn’t as good as the rest didn’t really matter, everyone helped us translating and we were able to chat with everyone present. The dinners were amazing, just like the Glen Garth Bed and Breakfast … The tournament was very well organised, everything went on smoothly. Henk and Els van den Nieuwenhuizen, Holland
To Chester we did travel, over hill and dale
Lugging heavy cases, made more so by the sales!
Promoting our journey via media and friends
Chester was our focus, on that you can depend.
The welcome was delightful, dining supreme
We stayed in luxury at the easily accessed Hotel Queen!
Our funds we shared generously via taxis and shops,
My cousin travelled from Germany, that was really tops.
To catch up, cheer me on and attend functions too
Sue went home with cheeses and memories, neither of them few!
The tournament timetable was precise and exact
The weather tried to foil it but David fought back
Final round held in Chester Cathedral was such a success
The audience poured in, applauded and claimed it was the best!
Sponsors gained financially from promotion well earned
Town Criers spread the word and money in turn
Encourage those who missed out to take advantage next time
For their investment will be rewarded in Euros, Pounds and dimes!
Worldwide colourful promotion is on the cards
Get involved – Contacting the organisers isn’t very hard
You will locate David and Julie at Chester’s Cross at noon
Please don’t delay as Town Criers, Escorts and entourage would love to return – very, very soon!
May God Bless the Chester World Invitational Town Crier Tournament Sponsors
God Save The Queen
Judy Campbell, Town Crier of Echuca-Moama, Australia
Brilliant! Thank you both for an astonishing week. Quite mad, all of it, but quite wonderful! Robin Whicker, Town Crier of Alderney
On behalf of Margaret and me a big THANKS for the stay at the Grosvenor. It was a real treat and much appreciated … It goes without saying what a wonderful job you and Julie have done yet again. What superlatives can I say that I haven’t already said in previous years? Hopefully you will know that it is enough to know that we love being there in Chester as part of your competitions, which never fail to be enjoyable with a programme that is always different and challenging … Congratulations. Michael and Margaret Wood, East Riding of Yorkshire Town Crier & Escort
Brilliant week and brilliant run-up organisation by you both. Delighted to be involved. Peter, Town Crier of Seaford
It is hard to express how much we have enjoyed the tournament with all that it has encompassed. Thank you … for wonderful time you have given us … Really enjoyed the church service this morning – well done. Prizes are simply stunning! They will be treasured … Paddy-Ann Pemberton, Central Otago Town Crier, New Zealand
First of all just to say thanks to you and Julie and all the stewards and volunteers for the outstanding work that you did over the duration of the tournament. It was a fabulous event and everything seemed to run smoothly and efficiently from what I saw. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I had some very positive comments about my cries/crying and I have come away particularly noting that I could do with some vocal training. No problem! I was particularly impressed with the fact that everything ran to time. So often at these events, things that are supposed to take place at eleven don’t do so till quarter past, etc. But everything stuck to the allotted times, which is really helpful when you are involved or you’ve told members of the public what time things are happening. I’ve no real negative feedback at all. I was made very welcome by all involved and I’ve learnt a bit for next time as well. I shall definitely be joining the appropriate bodies and look forward to doing a little more competitive crying next year, where I can. And I shall take up colonial status somewhere as well, lol! If there are any particular areas or things that have produced questions for you, then don’t hesitate to ask for my opinion on them and I shall answer them as directly as I can. Thanks once again for all your encouragement and assistance and I do hope we shall keep in touch. And well done once again. Kev Cook, Town Sergeant and Town Crier to the Town and Cinque Port of Sandwich in Kent
First an excellent format where not only was the competition maximised to increase the interest of the audience and attract sponsorship but the criers actually got to get out and about meeting the real people of Chester. My visit to Dial House will be something I shall always remember and attracted me an audience that I would not have had. The other activities such as the dinners and the photo opportunities were in the right measure. The judges were very good, discrete and knowledgeable. The trophies were very nice and the protocol around the awards – three separate ones – was well handled and not too long. The photographer, video and even a painter added to the event. We can purchase what we liked and we liked. Enjoyed meeting the Lord Mayor and was honoured for him to show us the secrets behind the Council chamber. He made sure that we, as ambassadors to our Shires, felt respected. There was a wonderful culture amongst the criers where we tried our hardest but tried to maximise each other’s scores. This was in no small part to the effervescent good humour of the hosts who kept things going and did not take themselves that seriously. A very enjoyable competition, I have told many people about my time in Chester and I am sure the publicity of this event will garner even more interest to this most magnificent of cities. My accommodation at the Abode in Chester was first class. They treated me like a king … frankly I was a winner before I even started competing as the accommodation was so good … Darren McCubbin, Town Crier of the Shire of Wellington, Australia
I want to thank yourself and Julie for making our visit so special. You were not only organised but very thorough and firm with us all. No messing when DM is around. Thanks for this discipline, as it did help things to run smoothly. I hope I didn’t step out of line!! Our accommodation at Stone Villa was superb and our hosts were so wonderful and will, I am sure now be firm friends. The social events were superb … The generosity from the base camp Coach House hotel with Neil and Elisha was incredible. The staff were amazing, helpful and pleasant and remembered us all by name … quite a talent … Their evening meal reception was just outstanding. Atmosphere magnificent and food superb. The GREEN room at the Abbey was great but not many folk used that facility I believe. Staff on their reception were so pleasant and helpful. The Forum visit was great and the staff and stall holders there were all so pleasant and accommodating with a photo call etc. The rostrum /platform for the presentations was superb but may have been even more so with a canopy roof if at all possible, in case of inclement conditions … The reception to the Lord Mayor’s chambers was fun exciting and very interesting … the photographer Rob was absolutely marvellous. He did a brilliant job all weekend. His sets on FACEBOOK are OUTSTANDING. The photo shoot with the ‘Dray man’ and ‘working horses’ was just lovely … The Saturday official meal and social evening was wonderful. Julie must be congratulated on the wonderful art work with the awards, quite marvellous … what a talented lady. The Town criers competing were all so friendly and I spoke to them all. They were generous with advice and were all so supportive and encouraging as they knew it was my first time to compete at this level … So grateful for the parking passes how wonderful the Chester Town Council were so accommodating. The tourism lady Sue Foster was lovely. The stewards at the competition were helpful and reassuring. The one aspect of the week I felt had an overwhelming effect on me was the community link/ visit we made. I was fortunate to attend the ‘Live’ centre providing a holiday club for youngsters with varying physical, developmental and psychological problems. The staff there were marvellous and the children were warm and welcoming. Thanks for that opportunity.
My overall comment: The 2014 World Town Crying Competition in Chester was an amazing event to be part of. All Town Criers should make an effort to be part of this superb event. David Mitchell and his wife Julie were the most superb hosts .The whole week’s events were supported and generously provided by Cheshire West and Chester Council and Chester Hoteliers Association. An event of friendship, camaraderie and fun with an opportunity for us to learn from the greats within the World of Town Criers … Chester people were friendly accommodating and really nice folk. Thank you. Sue Blower, Montgomerey Town Crier
To all of you responsible for the Amazing Town Crier Tournament I say this: I have been to every one of the tournaments and would do so because of the organizing committee … David, Julie and the team … You never get complaints because there is nothing to complain about. You have fined tuned this to the highest quality possible … We go to these events to promote our communities: you offer us many great occasions to do so, to promote our unique occupation; the venues and crowd give us that, to see and be seen. What a rich community you have and … finally to meet with our family of Criers and learn from each other. Because of the smoothness of the process and the genuine feeling of camaraderie throughout the proceedings it is easily attained. From the Gate Keeper to the Lord Mayor you are to be congratulated for making us feel welcomed and so special … Your Criers are unique: long life to them and to you. Daniel Richer dit LaFleche: Gatineau-Ottawa Town Crier, Canada
Wonderful, smashing, superb, amazing, out of this world, stupendous, fantastic, well organised, warm welcome, hotels were brilliant, competition sites well situated, and I am running out of superlatives that would do Chester proud, but they already have done. The whole week from the moment we arrived to our sad departure ran like a well-oiled wheel with nothing to much trouble for anyone. We look forward to returning to Chester very soon. Martin & Sue Wood, Shrewsbury Town Crier & Escort
* Organisation by email: superb. 24 mailings is quite hefty, but don’t think any of them was unnecessary. Handouts on first evening useful.
* Protocol: sounded fearsome but was understandable — and was applied!
* Parking: essential and much valued.
* Accommodation: also greatly valued and presumably even more so by those who had paid big fares already. All I had to do was drive 2 x 280 miles.
* Lord Mayor’s Reception: impressive. Glad he knew my local patch so well — even born in the same hospital!
* Venues for Cries: Town Hall Square excellent. Cathedral a good fall-back … Very game of the Dean to provide the venue.
* Green Room: only 3 or 4 of us used it but it was a boon to us.
* Base in the Coach House: welcoming and comfortable.
* Meals: great.
* Prizes: very unusual but attractive and apt. Sent picture of mine to local Press.
* Chester: a gem!
* Hosts: your modesty forbids me from saying too much complimentary!!
* Northgate Church: service all I had hoped it would be, and superb lunch. Lovely (Godly) people.
* Voluntary activity afternoon: thoroughly enjoyable. At least one of the stories I read I will be getting for my grandson.
* People of Chester: no daft or unpleasant comments heard all week (other than, when I was in uniform during the contest: “Are you with that group of Town Criers?”)
* Anecdote evening with Rotary enjoyable, especially Ken’s act, and Henk’s talk!
* Grateful for such a full breakdown of marks.
* Transport buddy system worked well.
Peter White, Town Crier of Seaford
I would like to express my thanks and admiration for the tremendous amount of work that both you and Julie must have put in to organise and run the Town Crier World Tournament. As you know, I too organise events, but nothing on this scale, and both you and Julie made the Tournament the success it undoubtedly was. I was so sorry to have to leave on the Friday morning, but I had unbreakable commitments for the Friday night, as well as the Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I truly wish I could have stayed for the whole event.
I can only say that I had a fantastic time. I met some very nice people from all walks; Criers, Escorts, the public and the various hosts. Apart from that, the experience I gained is off the scale. I can only pick out a few of the many highlights, but the staff and kids at Live! were fantastic and an inspiration. The hosts at the Coach House and the Rotarians were excellent. I cannot praise the Coach House and staff highly enough, nothing was too much trouble for them. Last but by no means least, the Ba Ba Guest House was brilliant. The accommodation was first rate and, once again, the staff were faultless. I have written a Trip Advisor entry for the Ba Ba and, according to the emails I have received from Trip Advisor, many others have read it.
At the risk of repeating myself, I had a wonderful week and again, my thanks and admiration go to both you and Julie. You both deserve the highest praise. Mike Wabe, Thetford Town Crier