Hear ye, hear ye! A town crier has descended on the streets of Manningtree for the first time in history.

Dressed up in elaborate red robes, with an impressive black feather hat while ringing a bell in her hand, Lynne Robinson made her first public announcement as the town’s crier last week.

The 62-year-old, who moved to the town three years ago, decided to take it upon herself to bring the time old tradition to the streets after realising the area has never had a town crier before.

After ordering her crier attire, buying a bell, and getting the support of Manningtree Town Council, Mrs Robinson made her first official announcement as crier on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Mrs Robinson, who carried out the role voluntarily, thought it would be a perfect fit for her.

The idea to become crier came to her after she was given a citizen’s engagement award for running free events in the town.

The grandmother-of-five said: “I wanted to give something back to the community, so I thought of being a town crier and making my first announcement on VE Day.

“I bought the hat and there was no stopping me.”

Manningtree Town Council had been organising a once in a generation street party to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day on May 8, complete with music, stalls, food and a speech from Mrs Robinson.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic the party had to be cancelled.

Despite the cancellation residents lined the streets with union jack bunting and sat in their gardens having tea parties with members of their households.

Mrs Robinson also decided she would still make her first announcement as crier to commemorate the Second World War generation.

Her speech was made at Manningtree’s War Memorial, in High Street, at a social distance.

“It was quiet due to the lockdown, so I didn’t have many people to stand in front of,” she added.

“I’m just glad I didn’t fluff it up.”

Before the cry, Mrs Robinson was sent an online tutorial on how to warm up her vocal chords before speeches.

“The worst thing you can do is just stand up and shout,” she said.

“You only have to shout oh ye, oh ye.

“The rest is spoken in a loud voice.

“You have to warm up for about 30 minutes before making an announcement.

“I started warming up by humming and then opened my mouth with a few notes and as I warmed up my vocal chords I made my voice go from low to high.

“Then I was ready to go.”

For Mrs Robinson’s VE Day cry she read a printed speech called ‘Cry for Peace’.

“There were town criers from across the country reading it at the same time,” she added.

“It will be turned into an online video, and it felt great to be part of it.”

Looking forwards, Mrs Robison hopes to hold cries in the town once shops reopen or special events happen.

She said: “We have some elderly residents in the area, and those who don’t use the internet would be able to hear me make announcements so they know what is happening in the area.”

During the pandemic, Mrs Robinson said she will be spending time adding historical features to her town crier hat.

These will include creating a tribute to the 300 women who are believed to have been executed for witchcraft between 1644 and 1646, many at the hands of Mistley’s infamous self-proclaimed witchfinder general Matthew Hopkins.

He is thought to have lived at what is now the Mistley Thorn and held preliminary examinations of those accused of witchcraft at the White Hart, in Manningtree.

Mrs Robinson moved to Manningtree from Coggeshall to retire after the death of her husband. Before Mrs Robinson moved to Manningtree, she lived in Coggeshall.

Her husband died six years ago, so she decided to move to Manningtree and retire.

Before she retied she ran a nursery in Coggeshall, and then looked after teenagers when they came out of care.

She has three daughters Clara Robinson, 39, who is a nurse, Holly Smith, 35, and Kate Gilbert, 33.