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Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye!.

City council will pay $1,391 toward the $1,853 cost of a new uniform for Town Crier Steve Travers.
Barrie's official Town Crier Stephen Travers will receive $1,391 from the city, to help pay for a new uniform. Robin MacLennan/BarrieToday

More than eight years of public appearances have left Barrie's Town Crier with a uniform that has lost its lustre.

City council approved paying $1,391 toward the cost new duds for Stephen Travers, leaving him with a bill of about $500.

The request for financial support came in the form of an official proclamation from the desk of Barrie's official Town Crier.

"My present uniform has, unfortunately, suffered some damage from its regular dry cleaning process which has now left it looking somewhat discoloured."

The uniform is currently about eight years old.

"I am hoping to purchase another coat and waistcoat, but alas such clothing must be made to special order as traditional Town Crier clothes cannot be purchased 'off the rack', so to speak," Travers wrote.

Travers purchases his own historical clothing, including wigs, hats, shoes and handmade shirts. He attends hundreds of events across the city each year.

The new coat and waistcoat will cost $1,853.

Historically, a town crier, or bellman,  is an officer of the court who makes public pronouncements as required by the court. He  also makes public announcements in the streets. Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th century, in a red and gold coat, white breeches, black boots and a tricome hat.

They ring a handbell to attract people's attention, as they shout the words "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!" before making their announcements. The word "Oyez" means "hear ye," which is a call for silence and attention.



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Robin MacLennan

About the Author: Robin MacLennan

Robin MacLennan has been a reporter, photographer and editor for the daily media in Barrie, across Simcoe County and Toronto for many years. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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