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Town Crier Neil Batsford will cry and ring his familiar bell for the last time in the Market Shopping Centre at 11am on 20 May 2017 before he retires after 21 years of serving the people of Burgess Hill and surrounding parishes. Neil has cried at a variety of civic events, opened businesses, led parades, including the annual bonfire procession and attended school events. In addition he has acted as Master of Ceremonies at weddings, said the Grace at formal occasions and advertised businesses. 
Asked what he enjoyed most about the role, Neil said that he felt he brought an element of flair and formality to events. A Town Crier is an important part of English tradition and would previously have brought information to the masses who for the most part could not read. The Town Crier would not only relay important news but also news of the community, even advertising local jobs! 
Burgess Hill Town Council recognised Neil’s service to the community at its Annual Meeting where Mayor Jacqui Landriani presented Neil with a gift and thanked him for his community spirit and service. 
The Council has formed a small working party to appoint a new Town Crier. Men and women are welcome to approach the CEO Steve Cridland should they be interested. It is for the most part a voluntary role though private ceremonies are becoming more frequent. Those interested should have the ability to project their voice and a loud voice is not a requirement.