ONE of the oldest town criers in the country has celebrated his 80th birthday – and shows no sign of quietening down.
Bodmin's favourite loudmouth Nick Prideaux first started proclaiming to all and sundry back in 1976 and even at his ripe old age, he is still a force to be reckoned with in town crier circles.
Only a few months ago he was awarded second prize in a town crier competition in Tiverton.
Mr Prideaux has been an ever present at civic and community events in Bodmin, and to celebrate his birthday, a surprise party was organised for him at Bodmin Jail, attended by friends and family, including present and past mayors of Bodmin.
He was an employee of Bodmin Council in the mid-Seventies when he was asked to become the town's crier and 12 years later he was invited to join the Guild of Town Criers.
Thirty nine years on since his first "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez", Mr Prideaux, who has won numerous competitions over the years, has no intention of packing away his bell and robes.
His daughter, Julie Pearce, who organised the surprise party at the jail, said her father had always possessed a loud voice.
" He used to shout at me and my two brothers when we were kids, so he's always done it.
"My late mother Marina was not too keen on dad becoming a town crier when he started, but we all used to accompany him to contests in towns like Newquay where we had a great day out.
"Dad has won lots of town crier cups and competitions, and we are all very proud of him, and there is no hint that he is likely to retire, he is still very fit," said Mrs Pearce.
Bodmin mayor Ken Stubbs said he hoped Mr Prideaux would continue.
"Nick is so well liked in the town and is known throughout Cornwall. He is a terrific ambassador for Bodmin and I hope he will remain as our town crier for many more years," said Mr Stubbs.