TOWN criers from across the country demonstrated their vocal skills in Windsor as a team of judges set out to pick the national champion.

The event was organised by the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers - and Windsor's own 'crier' Chris Brown acted as master of ceremonies.

The 38 competing town criers all came from Britain - except for two, who had travelled from Australia to take part.

It all kicked off at the Guildhall at 11.30am, as the Royal Borough's mayor Cllr Paul Lion was officially granted the warrant for the event by Guild chairman Owen Collier.

Then the criers in all their finery marched to the nearby Salisbury Tower at Windsor Castle, before each declaimed the virtues of their own town in their best stentorian tones.

Judging their efforts were the mayor's secretary Alison Singleton, chief executive of Windsor's Thames Hospice Debbie Raven, Mastermind winner Leslie Grout and Windsor Museum volunteer Len Nash.

They were looking for volume, diction, clarity and inflexion.

The winner was Christian Ashdown - town crier at Haslemere.

But no-one should have been too surprised by his success. He is a former soldier with the Household Cavalry at Windsor's Combermere Barracks.

His well deserved reward?

A bottle of fizz presented by Windsor Castle governor Admiral Sir James Perowne.