LOUDMOUTHS from across the country converged on Alcester for the annual Heart of England Town Criers’ competition.

The traditional Easter event, which took place last Saturday, has been held in the town for more than 40 years and it saw 14 colourfully costumed contestants shout it out to become Heart of England champion 2014.

The hundreds in attendance witnessed the criers walking down High Street before the contest began in earnest in the historic Malt Mill Lane gardens.

The criers were tasked with booming about their home town with their clarity, volume and intonation being assessed by a panel of judges.

The eventual winner was Adrian Holmes from West Bromwich.

High Bailiff of Alcester Steven Brown said: "It went extremely well - the weather was beautiful and it was very well attended."

Town criers date back to Medieval England when they were the chief means of breaking news to a population that was largely illiterate.