Ilkley’s first National Town Crier Competition – Ilkley BID Event

Mar 16, 2023News, Pillar 1, Pillar 4

The Ilkley Business Improvement District has organised and funded Ilkley’s first National Town Crier Competition.  Hosted by Ilkley’s own town crier, Isabel Ashman the event will take place on Saturday 13th May and welcomes town criers from all across the country to compete against each other under the watchful eyes of our local judges: Mark Stidworthy, Ilkley Mayor, Samantha Hill, Ilkley Playhouse and Ian White, Chair of Ilkley BID.

Agenda of the Day


The official proceedings will begin at 11am at the bandstand and prior to this the town criers will parade on foot from Ilkley Town Hall along The Grove ringing their bells and greeting people in town.

Following a benchmark ‘cry’ from Ms Ashman about Ilkley, the first official cry by the town criers will take place at 11am. It will be on the topic of their respective home towns and they will be tasked with extolling the virtues of where they live in 100-140 words to the audience.

They will then travel on a vintage open-top bus around Ilkley and down to the Riverside Park for more ‘meets and greets’.

The second cry will take place at 2.30pm at the bandstand. Each town crier has been allocated a local business to research, and their task is to deliver a cry about that particular business that entertains and enlightens the audience.

Businesses involved in the themed cries

  1. Ilkley Cinema
  2. Lishmans
  3. Friends of Ham
  4. Fitting Room
  5. Manor House
  6. Lido
  7. Dacres
  8. Mortens
  9. The Art Shop
  10. The King’s Hall
  11. Outside the Box
  12. Tennant & Darragh
  13. The Box Tree
  14. Martinez Wines
  15. Eric Spencer
  16. Annings
  17. Jigsaw

Each of the cries will be judged and marked for clarity, diction, delivery and entertainment, and the town crier with the highest overall mark will be declared the winner and will win a top prize of £100. There will also be a prize for the Best Dressed Town Crier.

Isabel Ashman, Ilkley Town Crier

Local primary schools will also be participating in a junior competition and Ms Ashman has been visiting the schools to talk about her role as the Ilkley town crier and has provided each school with its own tricorn hat and bell for the children to be able to practice in advance prior to the day.


Pillar 1
Marketing the Town

Pillar 2
One Voice

Pillar 3
Clean & Attractive

Pillar 4
Business Support