Something to shout about in Chester


Romilly Scragg

THE world’s tallest town crier sets foot in the city later this month when Chester plays host to the annual World Town Crier Tournament.

Martin Wood, 57, from Shrewsbury is 7ft 2in tall and carpenters at the Crowne Plaza Hotel have been working hard to adapt a bed for their special guest, just four years after doing the same on his first visit.

The hotel is one of several Chester hotels accommodating the tournament’s 24 criers and operations manager Peter Gregory said maintenance staff had started on the changes as soon as Martin confirmed he was making the return trip.

“I don’t remember what happened to the last bed we made,” said Peter, “but making another one is no problem at all.”

He said Martin was one of the most unusual guests the hotel had welcomed and everyone was looking forward to having him and his wife Sue back.

“He’s a gentle giant, a lovely guy,” said Peter.

Martin, who has been a crier for 29 years said it was a real treat to have a bed made to fit.

“This is the only place it’s happened,” he said.

“Last time they had a new piece made that went on the head of the bed and then they sort of shunted the rest of it up. It was wonderful. It meant a nice comfortable night’s sleep. Normally, my feet are hanging over the end.”

The three-day tournament which involves criers from 10 countries is being held in Chester for the fourth time (the last time being 2010) and takes place from Wednesday August 20 to Saturday August 23.

Three rounds, each with their own theme, take place on Wednesday and Thursday at Town Hall Square and on Saturday at Abbey Square.

Each round starts at 12 noon with winners announced on the day.

All are welcome to the free events.

“We do take it seriously,” added Martin, “but against that, there’s so much fun and camaraderie. It’s a lovely event and great to catch up with everyone.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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