Oyez! Oyez! Thetford teenage town crier given guild recognition
Thetford’s 13 -year-old town crier, who is thought to be the youngest in the world, has been recognised for his dedication to the town by The Ancient and Honorable Guild of Town Criers
Thetford Town Council wrote to the guild – founded in 1978 – earlier this year asking if it could honour Harry Turburville by letting him join for his work in the town, and it was sent a reply on October 28 after the guild’s autumn meeting.
The letter from membership secretary Peder Nielsen said: “The matter was discussed and it was thought that even though Harry is not old enough to become an actual member of the guild, his service and dedication to Thetford should be recognised.
“To that end, it was decided that the guild should have a special certificate made for him and have a guild member present it to him at a time to be arranged.
“When Harry achieves the age of 18 years then he would be a welcome member of The Ancient and Honorable Guild of Town Criers.”
The teenager, from East Harling, started as a town crier after winning Thetford’s Junior Town Crier competition in 2014. Since then, he has taken part in some of the town’s biggest events including the annual and very popular Soapbox Challenge in King Street and the national Battle’s Over – A Nation’s Tribute, which commemorated 100 years since the the end of the First World War in 2018.
Cheryl, Harry’s mum, said: “We are just really proud of him for getting this from the guild and I think he is really proud of himself as well, as he really enjoys doing it so much.”
“He just loves being out there in front of people and speaking to them at events, he also does drama at Norwich Theatre, too, so just loves being in front of people.”
Thetford has had a town crier since the 17th century, and were used in the past as public newscasters to tell people of the town about events, such as obituaries and local matters.
Councillor Brenda Canham, Mayor of Thetford, said: “I think it is fantastic for Harry to be recognised, I feel it is so important that the town still has a town crier and keeps this tradition alive,
“It is also important that we, as a town, are encouraging young people to do something like this – what Harry does for Thetford is something we can all be really be proud of.”
And it is not just the town that holds Harry in high regard.
Cheryl said: “I also think his friends at school are proud of him, too – I mean, it is not every day you are friends with a town crier.”