Exmouth town crier’s busy day

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:00 16 July 2019

Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein

Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein

Bicton Inn

Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein attended several local events recently.

"Barrels on the beach!" the ancient smugglers' cry rang out!

Though once heard on coasts around England, the same words today are set not on cold frosty nights but on hot summer days, as shrieks from the mouths of startled children bent in a visibly disturbed huddle around the large dustbin lid-sized Rhizostoma pulmo, the barrel jellyfish.

This exotic non-lethal plankton eating animal is visiting Exmouth this summer.

What a summer!

My town crier steps lead me in slow measured meander along Exmouth's seafront, from our docks full of history and tales from the mouths of old sea dogs, passing alongside our sea wall, on that tarmac motorway that plays host to bicycles, tricycles and tandems, dogs as big as goats to minuscule busy bundles of fluff, walkers, prams, strollers, and push chairs.

A town crier's task is to welcome all, from a simple greeting to giving a stentorian demonstration of the power of my voice.

Saturday last saw me so busy.

First, crier in Exmouth's Manor Gardens, opening (with Mayor Steve) Hospiscare's Family Fun Day; next off to the last Repair Café held in Tower Street Methodist Church, and then to Budleigh Salterton for three residents celebrating their 100th birthday.

Celebrate they did with large marquees, tables laid up as if 'twere a royal birthday, music, flowers and much of that most human of embraces, the hug.

Finally, as the air was as hot as my short sojourn some 25 years ago in that mystery called Khartoum, I marched up and down Budleigh High Street, closed at each end for seventy tables stretched end to end and peopled and sold to literally hundreds of cheerful citizens, hungry thirsty and loud in their appreciation of this giant picnic.

Caz, Mayor of Budleigh, that was an awesome event. It must be repeated.

I slept well that night.

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