town crier logo

See and hear our World famous Town Crier

Roy is available for public or private events as town Crier or Toastmaster

Roy can be contacted by ringing 01271 879691 or e mail


(a brief history)
A town crier is a person who is employed by a town council to make public announcements in the streets.
They usually dress elaborately—by tradition in a red and gold robe, white breeches, black boots and a tricorn hat.
town crier
They carry a hand bell to attract people's attention, as they shout the words "Oyez, Oyez!" before making their announcements. The words "Oyez, Oyez!" mean "hear ye", which is a call for silence and attention. Oyez derives from the Anglo-Norman language for listen.
The town crier's job can be traced back as far as 1066, when news of Britain's first invasion by King William of Normandy was passed from town to town by people specifically employed to call out the king's proclamation.
Books and newspapers were scarce and only available to a small percentage of the population. Law and news may well have been written on paper but the majority was passed on by the town crier - The first talking newspaper!!
Oyez, Oyez roughly translates as Hark or Listen - the town crier would summon the townsfolk to public meeting places to hear news of plagues, victories or defeats in other countries, royal births and deaths by public execution
In Medieval England, town criers were the chief means of news communication with the people of the town since many people could not read or write.
Town criers were protected by the ruling monarch, as they sometimes brought bad news (i.e. tax increases).
The town crier also existed in Europe.
Since 1810 there have been 8 town criers in Ilfracombe. In order they are:- Tom Pile, Blood Vickery,       George Pile, Thomas Eames, Robert Martin (famous for being a town crier on horseback),  Tom Davey and Tug Wilson. This takes us to 1947. From 1947 to 2001 there was no official crier until Roy Goodwin, our present town crier.  Although in reality Roy has been the crier for 12 years but until 2001 it was an unofficial role. Roys costume is a replica of an officers uniform from 1747.
and in case you are wondering a criers costume costs around £2,000
Roy Goodwin of Ilfracombe

roy goodwin the Ilfracombe town Crier

Roy has been our town crier since 2001 and represents the town of Ilfracombe throughout the UK and the world

He enters many crier competitions and was the Devon champion in 2003 and 2004 also winning in Llandovery 2005, Hatherleigh 2003, 3rd in Guild Championships 2004, 6th in European Championships 2004 and 2nd in the National Championships 2004, also placed many times. He represented us in  the AUSTRALIAN world championships in Sept. 2005 and also in 2003, coming well up the list in a world class competition.

roy goodwin town crier at different events

2011 results

1st Witheridge(Devon Champ)&best dressed
2nd Warwick
2nd Llandovery 
3rd Melksham

2009 was a busy year for Roy. He is the Devon Champion , winning this honour at Witheridge as well as the best dressed Town Crier. He has also been placed 2nd at Warwick and Llandovery and 3rd at Melksham. Each time representing the town and people of Ilfracombe. One little reward he received was a trip to Lundy on the Waverley paddle steamer, accompanied by other town criers from Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire and Wales.

          Roy is available for those special occasions where a Town Crier or a Toastmaster would set everything off