Hear ye, hear ye! Forget your smartphones, York has another way to share news across the city – via town crier.

The council is looking for a volunteer to make public announcements in the streets after the current Sheriff of York said they were not announced when attending several events in the city centre.


The last York town crier, John Redpath, retired in 2007, according to a report prepared for the decision session of the executive member for economic development on Tuesday (February 5).

Applicants for the new role will be invited to do a ‘trial cry’ audition on the steps of the Mansion House.

£2K budget

Have you got what it takes to pick up the bell? Photograph: Andrew Fogg on Flickr
And if the plans go ahead, £1,600 would be spent on livery for the role and a further £150 would go towards a bell, scroll, travel expenses and other accessories.

York BID will support the project for messages that promote specific retail areas of the city centre and Make It York will work with the crier to promote events and festivals.

York Civic Trust will also contribute £400. The report says:

  • The town crier will play an important role in the civic life of the city, as well as actively promoting tourism.

    There is clearly support for this tradition to be re-introduced within this historic city.

Executive director of York BID Andrew Lowson said: “The BID was asked to contribute towards the town crier project.

“We are happy to help on the basis that the town crier will be able to spread positive messages that can benefit shops and other businesses in the city centre.”

The successful applicant will be expected to announce newsworthy events, such as the birth of a royal baby, and provide advice and directions to tourists.