End of an era for North Shields town crier

The role of North Shields town crier may have ended, but the legacy lives on.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 09:32 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:35 pm
North Shields Customer First Centre team leader of Cultural Services Peter Ellis with Chamber chairman Miles Walton. Picture by RusbyMedia

After the role, which had been held for 18 years by Bill Temple, came to an end last year, the uniform and equipment has gone on display at North Shields Customer First Centre.

The iconic red jacket, hat, bell and scroll will be on display to the public for the foreseeable future, thanks to the North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Chamber chairman Miles Walton said: “This is symbolic of how the chamber is moving forward and trying to work much more to the modern way of doing business.

“We are very much looking to the future, but in this way, by having the town crier’s uniform on display, we are also able to celebrate an important part of our past.

“The display has proved to be very popular, especially with visiting schools, who have been able to see how things used to be.”

The role of town crier was launched 25 years ago by the chamber, but in recent years the crier’s only official appearance was at the North Shields Victorian Christmas Market.

Bill, 73, who now lives in Seaton Sluice, was proud to have held the role for so long and is pleased the uniform will be on display for the public to view.

The former RAF Warrant Officer said: “I was the town crier for 18 years and enjoyed every minute of it.

“Traditionally, all the information that was passed on from businesses and the people that were running the towns went through the crier.”

He added: “It is fantastic that the costume and accessories are on display for people to see, including schools. It means the next generation is keeping in touch with the past, which is a very important thing.”

The North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce has members from more than 100 companies.

If you have a business and are interested in joining the chamber email info@northshieldschamber.co.uk or for more information visit www.northshieldschamber.co.uk