Chris Whyman, the city’s other Kingston herald, won the 2010 world championship Town Crier tournament in Chester, U.K. this past Saturday.
2014 Update: Chris Whyman is once again named World’s best Town Crier !
According to the “Chestival” website, almost forty town criers arrived for the tournament – which was held outside Chester’s town hall – from countries that included the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand along with many other European countries.
In an interview with the St. Catherines Standard, that city’s Crier – who was unfortunately rattled during one of his proclamations, when a spider dropped down in front of his eyes – commented on the variety of styles he saw in other contestants, and mentioned one competitor from Shrewsbury, England was the tallest town crier at 7-foot-2 and also acts as a body double for Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies.
The whole tournament consisted of three rounds that took place on the preceding Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with the final deciding contest being held on Saturday June 19. There, a panel of six judges marked for volume, clarity, dictation, inflection and audience engagement.
Chris Whyman, who also won the title in 2004, will hold the 2010 crown until another city volunteers to hold a new tournament. The last city to volunteer was Maryborough, Australia, in 2005.
The Whig Standard quoted an email he sent to friends and family after winning the contest, where he wrote “This was the toughest competition I have been in for a while. I was so surprised that I won.”
Whyman, who is the visitor services manager for Tourism Kingston, celebrated his 25th anniversary as Kingston’s Town Crier last year.