THE decision has been taken to postpone a town crier championships in North Yorkshire, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers Championships 2020 was set to take place at Helmsley Walled Gardens on July 18, but will now be held next year.

Almost 30 town criers had already signed up to take part in the 2020 championships, with competitors travelling from as far away as Victor Harbour in Australia, New Glasgow in Nova Scotia and Bermuda.

The Championships take place in a different location each year, hosted by the local town crier.

David Hinde, Helmsley’s town crier, said: “It was a difficult decision to make as we have been organising and planning the event for the best part of a year.”

“However, with the current situation across the world it was the right thing to do.

“We’d like to thank the Guild who agreed to let us postpone the event until next year. Stay safe everybody and we will get through this together.”

Owen Collier, chairman of the Ancient & Honourable Guild of Town Criers, said: “I have spoken to many criers now about the postponement and although we are all disappointed that it will not take place this year. We are all of the general consensus that the Ancient & Honourable Guild Championships in 2021 promise to be a prestigious event and something to look forward to.”

The event had sponsorships from local businesses including Wharfedale Homes, Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, Thomas of Helmsley, Deep Blue Fish & Chips and The Yorkshire Society.