Let’s hear it for Hebden!

Les Cutts
Les Cutts
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Traders say Hebden Bridge is battling back from the floods and the town has a lot to shout about.

And, that is why the Hebden Bridge Business Association has had a change of plan and WILL be staging the National Town Crier Championships.

The two recent devastating floods which hit the Upper Calder Valley led to the championships being cancelled.

But the association, backed by councillors, has done a U-turn and the competition will go ahead as originally planned on August 24/25.

Association secretary Margaret Ashworth said: “It was decided the town crier championships will help bring people back into the town.

“We need events so people will come back again and the more people we can attract the better it will be for everyone.”

Calderdale Council’s tourism team will be leafleting tourist information centres across Yorkshire and Lancashire and it is hoped that people involved in the town’s Handmade Parade will join the town crier procession to make a colourful spectacle.

Les Cutts, town crier for Hebden Bridge Town Council and the borough of Calderdale, is helping organise the event which will include add-on entertainment.

He expects 17 town criers to attend and each will have an escort and five judges will tour the town marking the criers.

For a fee shopkeepers can have criers stood outside their shops enticing shoppers.

Town Criers - also known as bellmen - were the original newsmen long before journalists, TV and twitter.

The first criers were the Spartan Runners in ancient Greece and as England colonised the world criers spread and served as spokesmen for rulers.

The style of uniforms date back to the 17th century.