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Chatteris Town Crier will still call out for VE Day

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Chatteris Town Crier Lawrence Weetman says the coronavirus lockdown won't stop him and other town criers from marking the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday, May 8.

Events around the country have been put on hold due to the outbreak of COVID-19, including plans for celebrations in Chatteris. Residents are instead being asked to display home-made bunting to commemorate the occasion.

But criers, who were due to make a 'Cry For Peace' just before church bells rang out at 7pm, are doing their bit to ensure that the event does not pass unnoticed and have agreed to record the specially-written cry at home and publish it online for everyone to watch.

Chatteris Town Crier Lawrence Weetman (34086406)
Chatteris Town Crier Lawrence Weetman (34086406)

Mr Weetman will publish the video of his cry on his Facebook page at exactly 7pm on Friday, May 8, the time when the cry would have taken place in person outside the parish church.

He said: "Town criers have a great history of providing news and marking special occasions for hundreds of years. Although it's a hugely out-of-date custom in this day and age, I'm delighted to be joining other criers in using 21st century technology to help bring this special message of peace and hope to people's homes during lockdown.

"I hope that seeing the 18th Century platform of town crying meet the 21st Century platform of Facebook lets people slow down and spend some time thinking about the significance of this particular day."

Mr Weetman has also offered to provide the recording of the cry to local care homes ahead of the anniversary of VE Day so that they can make use of it during their own celebrations.

He said: "I had been approached by a local care home who had asked me to perform a cry to open their VE Day party. That is obviously now impossible and the celebrations have been altered somewhat, but I realised that the recording could still be used even if I wasn't able to be there in person.

"The anniversary will have a particular resonance for many older people, so I thought this was a nice way to let them know that we're all thinking of them."

Details of how to watch the video at 7pm on Friday, May 8 can be found at www.facebook.com/chatteristowncrier

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