Eight town criers made their voices heard as they battled it out to be named best in Dorset.

The competition - the 32nd Stanley Mansbridge Perpetual Trophy for Dorset Town Criers - came to Bridport after the town’s crier, John Collingwood, won the Dorset championships in Dorchester last year.

Other town criers included David Craner from Beaminster, Alistair Christholm from Dorchester, Andrew Flemming from Swanage, Chris Brown from Wimborne Minster, Melvyn Gudger of Pamphill and Shapwick, Jacque Hall of Wareham and Iain Mitchell of West Moors.

Due to the wet weather, the competition had to be held inside at the Tiger Inn in its Alley Bar, with the pub offering sandwiches to the competitors.

John gave a benchmark cry about his town, Bridport, with he competing criers also bellowing praises of their hometown in front of judges, town councillors Maggie Ray and Karen Hunt and Mick Smith, the new director of Bridport Arts Centre.

The winner was announced as Chris Brown from Wimborne Minster, narrowly beating Alistair Chisholm of Dorchester into second place and Andrew Flemming from Swanage came third. Alistair had just come back from Hastings where he had won the Town Crying National Championships for the 10th time.

There was a new prize this year in memory of Sturminster Newton’s town crier Kevin Knapp. This cup was for the best dressed which was won by David Craner from Beaminster. This was David’s final competition as he is due to retire at the end of the year.

He said: “I feel very proud and humbled to win the Kevin Knapp trophy for the best dressed crier in the Dorset championships. It meant an awful lot to me.

“Kevin was a very special man and it will be an honour to keep his trophy for the ensuing year. What a wonderful way to retire.

“I would also like to thank all the people for their kind messages on winning the cup and wishing me well for my retirement. I have had a lot of kind messages and I am looking forward to hanging up my bell now.”

The weather cleared after the competition and the criers made their way to Bucky Doo Square and back for a noisy parade and group cry.

Despite the wet and windy weather, the competition was a success and Bridport’s town crier, John, said: “All in all a very enjoyable afternoon which was well attended.”