‘Oyez, oyez’ new Southwold town crier is announced
- Credit: Nick Butcher
'Oyez, oyez' for four decades these words have echoed round a coastal town courtesy of the familiar figure of John Barber.
But now, following Mr Barber's retirement, a new voice is to take up the mantle of Southwold town crier.
Born and bred in Southwold, David Burrows, is set to make his first public appearance as the town bellman at the annual Civic Sunday parade on May 21.
The 44-year-old, known locally as 'Bunty', said: 'My family are really proud, my mum was over the moon and my children have been going round the house ringing bells shouting 'oyez, oyez' which has probably annoyed the neighbours!'
The father-of-three accepted the iconic role following encouragement from his wife, Tonia Burrows, and her grandmother, Southwold town councillor Sue Doy.
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Mr Burrows said: 'It is a traditional role in the town and a lot of people would have been disappointed if it was lost.
'The first time I tried the uniform on I instantly got into character and I just feel really proud to be able to keep it going and to bring a new face to the role.'
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As town crier Mr Burrows will attend eight civic events each year with strong tradition dictating announcements are made at specified locations within Southwold.
He explained he has been using his daily commutes to Norwich as an opportunity to get in some vital town crying practice while also receiving tips from Mr Barber.
'John has given me guidelines of do's and don'ts such as making sure my buttons and shoes are always shiny and that wearing a top hat is a must.
'If I can match his time in the role that would be great and maybe my son Freddie could takeover in the future.'
Mr Barber, 90, added: 'He certainly looks and sounds the part and I am so pleased David has taken on the role as I would have been disappointed if it was not filled.'
Mr Burrows also said he plans to offer his bellman's services for private occasions.
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