Oyez! Town crier steps up to restore civic pride in Sheringham

Sheringham insurance broker Andrew Cunningham-Brown in fine voice for his new role as town crier. Pi

Sheringham insurance broker Andrew Cunningham-Brown in fine voice for his new role as town crier. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

They are ancient emblems of civic pride – so when it was tentatively suggested that two rival seaside resorts should share a town crier some very vocal opposition ensued.

Sheringham Town Crier, Tony Nelson. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham Town Crier, Tony Nelson. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Now serenity has been restored to the streets of Sheringham, with new crier Andrew Cunningham-Brown proclaimed in the post.

Insurance broker Mr Cunningham-Brown beat off competition from three other hopefuls to step into town crier Tony Nelson's shoes when he retires next month after nearly 30 years in the role.

He decided to enter a 'cry off' in front of a panel of town councillors and carnival committee members after hearing that the possibility of sharing a town crier with Cromer had been mooted when nobody came forward to replace Mr Nelson.

Sheringham Town Council went in to private session to discuss the future of its town crier role after emotions erupted during a public meeting earlier this year when the idea of a merger was first mooted.

Cromer Town Crier, Jason Bell, who has been a town crier for 31 years. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Cromer Town Crier, Jason Bell, who has been a town crier for 31 years. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

However, the plan was shelved after Cromer crier Jason Bell ruled himself out, saying the idea of sharing should be 'knocked on the head'.

Members had originally planned to delay a decision on the way forward until after the carnival season ends.

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'I knew about the uproar when it was suggested and I think Sheringham definitely needs its own town crier,' Mr Cunningham-Brown said.

'We are really lucky to have a lot of events and traditions that other places have seen die out and, for me, it is a great honour to represent a unique town, as well as a way of giving something back.'

Mr Cunningham-Brown will be shadowing Mr Nelson during the town carnival, which kicks off on July 30, before officially stepping into the role on August 7. Originally from Leicester, Mr Cunningham-Brown moved to Sheringham in 2004 to take a job with a Norwich insurance broker and set up on his own at the beginning of last year.

'I feel very proud,' he said. 'Being town crier isn't something you often get a chance to do and it is a great opportunity for me to represent Sheringham for local people and holidaymakers.'

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