As the former town crier of Bridport I feel drawn into the present discussions taking place in your columns as to how a crier should perform his or her duties.

The post of town crier was originally a means of letting the inhabitants of a town or city know of events due to take place in and around that particular location.

Before the days of radio, television or even the advent of printing industry producing posters the crier would announce his or her presence by ringing a loud bell prior to calling out his message in as loud a voice as possible.

The crier would then move on to another part of the area to do the same again.

These traditions of dress and method have carried on down through the ages as has the mayoral duties and apparel along with the post of mace bearers walking each side of the mayor on ceremonial duties.

So in conclusion I consider a town crier should certainly use a bell and rap or rhyme should not be the method to announce any forthcoming event.

The general public do not require a performance just an announcement delivered by a town crier dressed in traditional costume complete with a bell.

John Morey