WATCH: Crying shame as town crier told to retire
- Credit: Archant
Lawrence Weetman has been “retired” as town crier of Chatteris after seven years and asked to return his uniform by Christmas.
Mr Weetman was told the news in a letter from the Chatteris Midsummer Festival Committee.
They felt it was “time to once again” open the role up to a competition to find a replacement.
He said he would have liked “a conversation” with the committee prior to the announcement.
“I have not had that conversation – I feel like the rug has been pulled from under me,” he said.
Mr Weetman said it was shame they didn’t say “after your next big event – that would have been nice, but that is their prerogative”.
He said when he first became town crier “I dreaded it a bit, and once even lost my voice.
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“You start off shouting trying to be as loud as you can and get hoarse over time but luckily, I developed my technique”.
Mr Weetman – who beat two others for the voluntary role – hopes the decision is not connected with his campaign to save Wenny Meadows from development.
He has been actively campaigning against 93 homes being considered for the meadows, although the town council supports it.
“I have always kept being town crier separate from politics,” he said.
Mr Weetman used Zoom to keep the tradition of crier alive during the pandemic.
“I posted often videos I filmed in the garden of notable wartime and other anniversaries,” he said. “These were then sent to residents of care homes to show them on the actual day.”
Becoming town crier was a childhood ambition.
“We lived in Fleetwood and the town criers used to come along after a show in Blackpool,” he said.
“I was quite loud and used to shout back at them.
“My mum used to say you should be a town crier as you are so loud,” he said.
“Mum died in 2010 and I became town crier in 2014 and hopefully I have done her proud.”
He added: “I don’t want to sound too hard done by but I am a bit sad.”
He will use the rest of the year performing to local shows, and is available for bookings.
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org