Dorchester is searching for a new voice to fill the role of its award-winning town crier.
Alistair Chisholm, the voice of Dorchester for 27 years, retired on New Year’s Eve, marking the end of the year with his final cry.
The town crier, an ancient role dating back to medieval times, was crucial when most of the population couldn’t read, making public announcements and proclamations. The tradition continues across the country, and the Dorchester crier remains a celebrated figure at civic events.
Alistair Chisholm is leaving behind a legacy that includes multiple wins at the National Town Crier Championships and a record-equalling 11th national title in 2021.
His tenure saw him herald significant moments such as the Coronation of Charles III and the 2012 Olympic torch relay. Reflecting on his career, he remarked it was a ‘fun thing to do,’ highlighting the importance of ‘wind’ to deliver a good cry!
Dorchester Town Council is now on the hunt for Alistair’s successor. Interested candidates are invited to apply by 12th February by letter, explaining why they are suitable for the prestigious role. The town crier is required to write and perform their own cries and to attend major town events. A spokesperson for the council emphasised the role’s significance in promoting Dorchester’s rich heritage. ‘It is a nationally renowned position that serves an important function,’ they said, underscoring the desire to preserve this unique tradition.
Shortlisted applicants will showcase their skills in a public performance, and the council stresses the importance of local history knowledge or the willingness to learn.
Stepping into Alistair Chisholm’s shoes will be no small feat, but the opportunity presents a chance to become a part of Dorchester’s living history.
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