Every year Town Criers come to Tiverton to keep alive the ancient tradition and to compete in the annual Town Criers' Competition.
The Criers, members of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers (AHGTC) provide a colourful and entertaining spectacle for visitors throughout the day. Each competitor performs in Phoenix Lane - in the presence of the Mayor and Mayoress of Tiverton.
In Medieval England, Town Criers were the chief means of news communication with the people of the town since many could not read or write.
Royal proclamations, local byelaws, market days and adverts were all proclaimed by a bellman or crier throughout the centuries. Town Criers dress elaborately, by tradition dating to the 18th century, which includes a coloured robe, breeches, black boots and a tricorn hat.
Criers carry a handbell to attract people's attention, shouting "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!" before making announcements.