His bell and booming voice have become as much a part of York as the Shambles cobbles.
But now, after more than 750 events over three and a half years, York Town Crier Ben Fry is preparing to leave the role.
Ben will hang up his tricorn and bell at the end of this year.
“I’m a little bit sad about the whole thing,” Ben told YorkMix.
“I’ve done some amazing things. I got to ring the bell at Ellie Goulding’s wedding, be a big part of the Rugby League World Cup.
“So many business opening so many charity events, I’ve done everything you think you can do.
“Recently, the King came to York. Unfortunately, I wasn’t involved with that.
“On my town crier CV, that was the one tick I had left. And that’s probably not going to happen for quite some time.
“Because I’ve done it for free, and I’ve never said no to anything, it is hugely time consuming. And it’s time to probably focus on other areas of my life.”
Ben became York’s new town crier in April 2019. At that point, the ancient role had been left unfilled for 12 years.
He decided to bring the TC into the 21st century. At the time, Ben was working for Minster FM and brought with him a sizeable social media presence.
So he became the city’s first digital town crier.
“That meant that when I went to an event, it wasn’t just shouting at the people who could hear me, I could then post the videos on social media,” he said.
That digital part of his role continued seamlessly after Minster FM was closed and he co-founded YorkMix Radio.
“When we’re doing events and business openings for free, we’re able to reach more people, and that’s the job.
“But also, I know guests and visitors to the city have really loved getting photos as well. So I think it’s been really good for three and a half years.”
Ben’s appointment came after City of York Council, Make It York and the York BID worked together to bring back the town crier.
He has let the council know of his decision, but has yet to hear back from them.
“I have heard from the Lord Mayor, because obviously I’ve done a lot with the four Lord Mayors. And the Lord Mayor thanked me for my efforts during his civic year.”
He said he didn’t know what the council’s plans are for the town crier role in future.
Ben has mixed feelings about stepping down. Since making his decision, he’s done Christmas light switch-ons and other events “and when you’re doing all those things, you remember how great the role is.
“But the thing is, you’ve got to do it 100% at every event and for everybody who asks, otherwise not do it at all. And I just think that commitment is too much.
“I was holding on – I really liked the idea of of meeting royalty as the town crier. And that probably isn’t gonna happen now for quite a few years.”
Ben will fulfil a number of events as York Town Crier between now and Christmas before giving the last ring of his bell. “So my plan will be to hand it back in the New Year.
“I have asked the question – I don’t even know who actually wants the bell, or where it goes or who gets the jacket and whether they expect me to dry clean it first!
“So those details have to be ironed out. But by the end of 2022 all the gear will have gone back.”