David Mitchell is the Town Crier of Chester, the only place in Britain to have retained the tradition of regular midday proclamations at a fixed place and time (Tuesday-Saturday, May-August, at noon; 10.30am on Race Days). His competition successes include British Champion, Best Dressed Crier and People’s Champion.
His contribution to Chester and Cheshire was recognised in 2007 when he was made the first-ever recipient of the Chester Chronicle’s ‘Pride of Cheshire’ award, as voted for by readers.
David has made many appearances on TV and radio. He was also the Town Crier in two full-length films – ‘Moll Flanders’ with Alex Kingston and ‘24 Hour Party People’ with Steve Coogan.
David is an award-winning speaker on the luncheon club and after-dinner circuit, having professionally entertained hundreds of audiences. He has been invited to give his costumed presentation in towns and cities all over Britain, as far afield as Ayr, Falmouth, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. He is a member of The Professional Speakers Association.
David also presents a one-man show, entitled ‘For Crying Out Loud!’, which he has performed at theatres in Eastbourne and Epsom as well as in his home city of Chester. This is believed to be the first time a town crier has ever done a one-man show. One reviewer said of the show’s debut, “Dress David Mitchell in a town crier’s outfit, give him a handbell and put him under the spotlight on a stage, and he will give you a powerful demonstration of how to have an audience eating out of his hand.”David has hosted two World Town Crier Tournaments in Chester and the British Championship in Vale Royal. The 2004 World Tournament was “Highly Commended” in the Events Category of the North West Tourist Board Annual Awards. As a competitor David was placed third in the 1999 World Championship on Vancouver Island, Canada.
In addition to being the Town Crier of Chester he is also Town Crier of the Borough of Vale Royal, Frodsham and the City of Lancaster.
Julie Mitchell, Town Crier of Chester, Knutsford and Vale Royal, leads an unusual life to say the least. “Dressing in clothes 200 years out of date and shouting at complete strangers has its surreal moments I can tell you!” she says.
In the 1999 World Town Crier Championships, held on Vancouver Island, Canada, Julie was the world’s highest-ranking female Crier, and sixth highest-ranking overall.In 2008 she was the highest-ranking British female Crier at the LCTC British Championship.
Julie is also a professional historical costume maker. Many liveries she has designed and made for town criers have won awards at world level for authenticity and presentation. She has exported liveries to Australia and Japan. The Australian livery enabled its wearer to win the Australian prize for Best-Dressed Town Crier at the Australian National Championships in 1999. The Japanese livery was commissioned by the five-star Royal Chester Hotel in Nagasaki for their Bell Captain who officially receives guests to the hotel.
Julie was co-host with David of the Lord Mayor of Chester’s World Town Crier Tournaments held in 2001 and 2004, and played a significant role in their organisation. She also designed and made the fabric staging for the tournaments.
In addition to her roles as Town Crier, Julie is believed to be the world’s only female Beadle. Historically the Beadle’s duties included not only responsibility for the workhouse and apprentices, but also for protecting the Mayor during his public appearances.