City of York Town Crier

York BID in partnership with, Make It York, City of York Council and York Civic Trust have worked together to reintroduce the ancient role of Town Crier to the city of York. On May 10th 2019, radio presenter Ben Fry was sworn in by the Civic Party as York’s new Bellman. The project was inspired by the former Sheriff of York, Verna Campbell who had a passion to see the role restored after the last Crier John Redpath, retired in 2007.

“Town criers are rooted in history, with the role created to share news and help promote local businesses.  We’re excited to see Ben evolving the tradition to embrace not only heritage, but integrating social media helping the town crier’s voice reach a wider audience than ever before,” comments Chris Bush of York BID. The image below shows York's Bellman, ringing in the festivities for Yorkshire Day 2019.

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“Being a 21st century town crier does not simply require a loud voice and a bell to be heard, and when I’m not physically shouting, I will be making sure that our whole city is celebrated and highlighted whilst I continue to wear the mantle,” says Ben.

The Town Crier’s livery was funded by York BID, has been hand crafted by expert local seamstress Janet Hull. The new official bell was gifted to the city by Taylor’s Bell Foundry and has been engraved with the City of York crest. Ben has already made appearances at a number of different events and is helping to disseminate news and announcements across the city.

Local business owners, managers or event’s organiser who are interested in requesting the Crier to make an appearance should complete an APPEARANCE REQUEST FORM and return it to

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