OYEZ! Oyez!

Eliza Mowe has clocked up 10 years as Lancashire’s first female town crier.

She was appointed Barnoldswick’s second town crier of modern times a decade ago, and is one of 20 female town criers in the country. And she has been spreading the word about how great her role is ever since.

Speaking previously about how she ended up in the role, Eliza said: “I got into it when town councillor David Whipp asked me to take over from the last one. It is a way of serving the community because I love Barnoldswick.

“I love doing it so much that when I got married I even made sure all the other town criers could attend. I may not be the typical town crier, but I just enjoy doing it so much.”

In 2012, Eliza hit the headlines for appearing on the X Factor in her town crier costume, although her singing failed to impress the judges.

She also famously combined her town crier duties with her wedding, with scores of criers from across the country coming all dressed up for the day.

As well as her Barnoldswick appearances, Eliza is an ambassador for the town when she takes part in competitions across the country and abroad, including being crowned European Champion.

To celebrate her tenth anniversary, Eliza provided cake for 100 people at the Rainhall Centre, where a film of Barnoldswick’s town crier competition was shown.

Eliza was assisted by her daughter Hazel, who has often been at her side during events.

Rich tradition

  • A town crier was an officer of the court who makes public pronouncements as required by the court
  • Now, in a ceremonial role, the crier can also be used to make public announcements in the streets
  • Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th century, in a red and gold robe, white breeches, black boots and a tricorne hat
  • They carry a handbell to attract people’s attention, as they shout the words ‘Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!’, before making their announcements. The word ‘Oyez’ means ‘hear ye’, which is a call for silence and attention
  • When Prince George of Cambridge was born on July 22, 2013, an unofficial town crier proclaimed the news to the crowd assembled outside St Mary’s Hospital, London