Something to shout about...

Lytham St Annes town crier Colin Ballard in his new outfit.
Lytham St Annes town crier Colin Ballard in his new outfit.

HEAR ye, hear ye . . .

Town crier Colin Ballard has plenty to shout about after officially showing off his new uniform for the very first time at the weekend.

Colin, 64, wore his splendid attire to attract visitors to a history event focusing on the Victorian and Edwardian eras at the United Reformed Church, St George’s Road, St Annes, on Friday and Saturday.

“It was the first time I had offically worn it on Saturday,” said Colin. “I was in St Annes town centre directing people across to that exhibition.”

He explained: “The old uniform has seen better days and so a new one was commissioned and has been styled, lovingly created and hand produced by Lynda Ormerod, of Gregory Place, Lytham.

“A new tricorn hat has been adorned to match and I shall now wear traditional Lancashire clogs to perform cries.

“The clogs were produced near Burnley by Roger Dower who displays his products in Oswaltwistle Mill. Badges are being created to identify our towns and will be attached to the coat later.”

Born and bred in Norfolk, Colin moved to Bolton at the age of 12. He has lived in Lytham for the last seven years.

Colin of Cypress Point, was appointed as town crier by Lord of the Manor of Lytham James Hilton and St Annes Town Council. He attended a St Annes Town Council meeting on December 20 when The Squire and Mayor of St Annes made the jointly appoint.

The cost of his new outfit has been borne jointly by the town council and the Lord of the Manor.

Colin has replaced the retired former Manor of Lytham town crier Eddie Bowkett – the post had remained unfilled for 10 years.

He added: “The bell is the first point of call for the crier and after research I found the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London were able to mould a superb specimen – seven-and-a-half inches diameter and about fifteen inches tall with a lovely tone.

“The bell is be engraved with Eddie’s and my name and leaves plenty of space for others to follow.”

Colin has a busy year ahead with events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, The Olympic Torch run, Lytham Club Day, St Annes Carnival and Lancashire day, to name but a few.

He said: “My role is to give information in a modern form with dignity and clarity, remaining true to tradition and historic announcement for both locals and tourists to see and hear.

“I am a trained toastmaster and master of ceremonies and this role allows me to meet more people out and about.

“I enjoy ‘crying’ the news and welcome discussions when in the towns and presentations to groups explaining about the role.”