Town Criers Told to Shut Up

Hear ye, hear ye!
Town criers are weeping this year as one of Britain’s great eccentricities just got even more eccentric: The British Town Crier Championships will be silent. 

(Blame the pandemic.)
In a “return to the bare bones of crying,” contestants will be judged on written cries alone instead of the usual trinity of sustained volume and clarity, diction and inflection, and content.
It’s a blow to the “extreme sport” of crying, says reigning champion Alistair Chisholm, who complained that crying through a mask made him sound “all muffly.”
Most of all, contestants miss crying together.
“People are really missing each other on the town crier circuit,” said crier Elizabeth Anderson-Watson.

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