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'Oyez, Oyez, Oyez': Meet Cromer's town crier

PUBLISHED: 08:09 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:09 11 November 2019

Mark Northway is Cromer's new town crier. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Mark Northway is Cromer's new town crier. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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'Oyez, Oyez, Oyez': Cromer has a new town crier.

From left to right:  Mark Northway, Cromer's new town crier and Jason Bell, former town crier. Picture: Victoria PertusaFrom left to right: Mark Northway, Cromer's new town crier and Jason Bell, former town crier. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Mark Northway has the required booming voice and extrovert character to fit the bill.

And he hopes to last as long in the role as previous town crier, Jason Bell, who stayed for 35 years, and hung up his feathered hat and bell earlier this year.

Mr Northway said: "My wife Ruth put me down for it when she saw the advert, and said 'This would be you down to a tee'.

"My stepmum, Mary Northway was chairman of Cromer Community and Hospital Friends, and she thought I would love to do something in the community."

Jason Bell is retiring as Cromer's town crier after 35 years of service. Picture: Victoria PertusaJason Bell is retiring as Cromer's town crier after 35 years of service. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

He was chosen for the role after an impressive demonstration 'cry' at a meeting of UK town criers in Cromer.

He added: "It's very much a way to promote the town. If you get to travel the country and take part in competitions, you can sell the town. Norwich has got the Broadland Northway and I'll be the North Norfolk Northway."

His first official act will be at the Christmas lights switch-on on November 30, and he will also attend the civic service and carol concert on December 1.

The 55-year-old, who has three children of his own and two stepchildren, said: "I think you do about a dozen events throughout the year. It brings the community together. Jason will be a hard act to follow."

From left to right: Jason Bell, former town crier and Mark Northway, Cromer's new town crier. Picture: Victoria PertusaFrom left to right: Jason Bell, former town crier and Mark Northway, Cromer's new town crier. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Brought up from the age of seven in Overstrand, he lives in Suffield Park, Cromer, and he's an accountant with Kestrel Furniture in Great Plumstead, among several other jobs.

Mr Bell has confidence in Mr Northway taking on the role.

He said: "Mark will be all right. You cannot really tell anyone how they should do their 'cry'. It's up to Mark to make the role his own."

Mr Bell's last act as town crier was at Cromer carnival in August.

He added: "It will feel strange not being involved in the Christmas lights, and at carnival time next year. I was involved in 50 Cromer carnivals."

The traditional shout of 'Oyez' comes from the Anglo-Norman word for listen and is a call for silence meaning "hear ye".

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