The Chester blog

Town Crier returns after long absence

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The long serving Town Crier David Mitchell returned to his traditional home at The Cross today after an enforced absence of 15 months due to the pandemic.

Joking before today’s historic midday proclamation, the Crier commented “I haven’t cried for 15 months because a Town Crier in a mask is a highwayman!” The halt term crowds filling the busy streets were an obvious contrast to the haunting silence of the city during last years spring and winter lockdowns. David had updated his speech to include some references to the pandemic alongside the traditional historical references and jokes, as well as pointing out the locations of key city centre attractions for the benefit of visitors.

“It felt a bit rusty, it wasn’t as strong as it would have been after a season of practice, but it felt good. It was very good of God to shine the sunshine on me after we’ve had such a bad day in May. What I’ve done over the last year apart from a lot of walking , is working on a second edition of my book The Word on the Street ( see The Word on the Street by David Mitchell – The Chester blog) , its the kind of thing you can do safely at home without meeting anyone, jut doing the research and the writing. I was very pleased to find some other nationalities present in the crowd, someone from Syria, Persia as well as Wales and Scotland. “

The welcome return of this Chester icon felt like a hopeful sign: “A very vice chap in the St Peters centre said to me , its great to have you back because you are “Mr Chester” and when we see you back , it means things are back to normal”

The Town Crier is at The Cross, midday Tues to Sat ( not race days)

The Word on the Street is available from Waterstones and the Tourist Information Centre.

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