SHE’S renowned for raising her voice, but Petersfield’s town crier is due a shout-out of her own after passing a milestone.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Faye Thompson and her husband, Martin, were pitted against each other in a battle to become the town’s first crier. The competition was over before it started, with Martin withdrawing and Faye being proclaimed the winner on January 28.

Faye has given more than 50 shout-outs – roughly once a week – since then, while her engagements have ranged from wrestling matches and shop openings to promoting charity events.

There’s also been the small matter of announcing the King’s Coronation and representing Petersfield at events afar as East Sussex and Quebec.

Faye – or Kaye as she and the Post sometime joke, in reference to a spelling mistake by yours truly – effectively made the job her own by plugging a business event. The town council were impressed and she got the job after a competition became a one-horse race.

“I did the first job a little too well and they got lots of footfall, which was amazing,” said Faye, whose first ‘proper’ job as crier was to introduce Astrid The Viking at a wrestling match.

“You can look at business models and advertising as much as you like but word of mouth is sometimes the easiest and best way to drum up business.”

The diary has been pretty full since then. Sometimes people will approach her, while she often promotes events, groups and people worthy of a mention.

‘Community’ is the buzzword, and she’s particularly keen to promote the work of nurses and carers in the town, especially those in homes who don’t perhaps have a full command of English.

One of the highlights of her past year was representing Petersfield at a national town crier’s competition in Rye. She didn’t win – somehow a Belgian was crowned the nation’s best – but she loved the experience.

She said: “I was never going to win that but it was all about building up publicity.

“I was up against people who have been doing it for 27 years but it was a good education and I learned a lot. I also went to Canada last year and spoke to the town crier of Montreal.”

There’s been a few stand-out events, with the candlelit vigil for late Post reporter Jon Walker on The Square and the royal proclamations being among them.

Another group she’s very keen to promote is the town’s fledgling steampunk community, which mixes Victoriana clothing with the industry of the time.

When the clocks went back, she brought the Gosport group to town for the occasion as it fits with their ‘going back in time’ niche.

Faye doesn’t believe anyone can be a town crier. Having a theatrical or outgoing personality helps, but you must be able to communicate well and embrace the role within the community.

She said: “I love it so much because I just love talking to people and communicating.

“Not everyone can do it, and it’s a myth that you have to be a loud character. Yes a lot of it involves shouting, but it’s mostly about what you put in your proclamation, and that’s something I’m still learning.”