The Dream Cry

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:58 24 January 2018

Honiton Hot Pennies 2015. Town crier, Dave Retter, gives his shout before the start of the fayre. Ref mhh 5412-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Honiton Hot Pennies 2015. Town crier, Dave Retter, gives his shout before the start of the fayre. Ref mhh 5412-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton


The Honiton Town Crier Dave Retter recounts some of his memories

It’s fair to say I have done a lot of cries over the years in Honiton, up and down Great Britain and also abroad, leaving me with many memories.

Here’s a few.

When I visited Almelo in Holland for the European Town Criers Competition, the first day of crying was on a barge with very low sides.

I had to walk across a wooden platform with rope handrails to get to the barge. The crying area was smack bang in the middle of the barge so I had to let go of the rope handrail and walk a few metres unaided to the crying spot.

This, to some, might seem nothing, but it was windy, a bit rocky, and I cannot swim! The other four days were all on tarmac.

When Honiton staged its first Charter Day ten years ago, I had the chance to go to the top of St Paul’s Church to do a cry.

I accepted and climbed up many ladders and steps to the trapdoor.

I was accompanied by David Jackson, of Combe Raleigh, who was the official photographer and the man who puts the flags up for the church.

When the trapdoor was opened, a flock of pigeons flew away. We all got out on to the lead roof - yes, it was a bit messy!

I did a cry kneeling out through the parapet wall with David taking photographs of me.

The reason I knelt was because the wall’s parapet was not very high and I am not keen on heights.

Around this time, I did another cry from height - this being on top of the Haldon Belvedere, on Haldon Hill.

My two lodgers, Tina and Kevin, had just got married inside, so I decided to shout a few things to guide them along their way.

When I had finished, I remember thinking ‘St Paul’s and the Belvedere are very high, from now on I will try and keep my feet on the ground’.

I have now come to my dream. In an earlier edition of the Resident, I mentioned I supported Bolton Wanderers. Well, the dream is to do a cry about Honiton in the middle of their pitch at the Macron Stadium, in Lancashire, hopefully in front of 20,000 supporters.

Two years ago, I had this arranged with the club, but the week before, I ended up in hospital not feeling very well at all so I had to cancel.

I still have the contact number so it will happen sooner rather than later. I have also learnt that I am not the only supporter of Bolton Wanderers in Devon. Gloria is a regular caller to Radio Devon’s David FitzGerald show. Her husband, Peter, at Feniton, is a supporter as well.

So at this rate, who knows - maybe a bus load of us could go up!

Anyone interested in coming along to the Macron when I do my cry can call me on 01404 861392.

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