Axbridge Town Crier 1975-2015
Mrs. Yvonne Chamberlain, or Vonnie to her friends, was made Town Crier of Axbridge in 1975, and was “adopted” by the Town Council a year later.
She became the third ever female crier to be accepted into the Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers in 1979, and she has been a member ever since.
Town Crier competitions have taken Vonnie all over the world, starting with Shanklin on the Isle of Wight in 1987 where she won “Best Dressed Lady” in the first World Championship. She has also been to Belgium, Canada, Australia (3rd lady prize), and lastly Vancouver Island in 1999, and here is just a small memento to prove it!
And she competed here in England (Frome and Lyme Regis in 2010).
From Frome Town Crier competition 2010
From Lyme Regis Town Crier competition 2010
The Town Crier’s year has a number of standing engagements, for which we are very proud to have her appear: The Mayor’s Banquet, Mayor Making, Axbridge Carnival, Harvest Festival Service, Remembrance Sunday, Santa in the Square, and in 2010 Armed Forces Day and the Pageant as well.
In Vonnie’s own words “I think it is a big honour to be the Town Crier of Axbridge, being an Axbridge girl. I have met so many people one place and the other, and been able to talk to people about Axbridge and put this town on the map more. I’ve been to places overseas that I did not think I would ever go to. It’s all so enjoyable from the overseas competitions to the ones nearer to home. Thanks to everyone.”
And thanks indeed to Vonnie!
On May 16th 2012 Vonnie was created the first Freeman of Axbridge as a thank-you for all her service to the Town over the years. The award was presented by outgoing Mayor Barry Hamblin. Picture also shows newly-elected Mayor Ian Laken with Cllr Hamblin after the Mayor Making.