Topsham has new town crier

PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:32 10 June 2010

TOPSHAM has a new town crier. Keith Smith, of Denver Road, has taken over the role from John Reid. The 65-year-old was appointed at a bingo night held in Matthews Hall. The event represented the unofficial start of the week-long Topsham Fayre which gets

TOPSHAM has a new town crier.

Keith Smith, of Denver Road, has taken over the role from John Reid. The 65-year-old was appointed at a bingo night held in Matthews Hall.

The event represented the unofficial start of the week-long Topsham Fayre which gets under way later this month.

Keith, looking forward to his three-year term in the position, said: "It is an honour to be crier.

"It is quite fitting that I have been given the job because I consider myself to be well-known and a familiar face in the town."

A former domestic repairs and maintenance worker, Keith served as secretary for Topsham Rugby Club for more than ten years and helped run Denleys Wine Bar on the High Street with his partner, Maureen.

Ben Turner, 26, of Sollet Road, will work as his deputy.

Keith said he was looking forward to a competition being held as part of the Topsham fayre which will see criers from all over the country taking part.

"I am looking forward to winning that for the town," he added.

Deputy Ben Turner said: "I am hoping to bring some youth to the position and get the town thinking forward.

"I pride myself on looking after the elderly; I want to bring the area together more as a community and to support local tradesmen and businesses."

Ben, who like Keith also has ties with Topsham Rugby Club, hoped his role would enable him to attract new players for the team.

The position of crier, according to traditions which date back to more than three century's ago, often entails dressing in elaborate clothing - something Ben was undeterred by.

"I am not put off by wearing all the finery. I actually quite like it," he explained.

"I would like to thank the seamstress who put the outfits together.

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