Ilkley’s Town Crier is to retire at the end of this year after celebrating his 70th birthday.

Chris Richards (pictured), who was appointed to the ceremonial role in 2001, will hang up his hat and bell in December, following more than a decade of ringing in many changes and big events across the town.

Mr Richards, of Bingley, is a former teacher, and as well as serving as Bingley town crier in 1991 and 1992, was known for his performances with Bingley Operatic Society.

He sent Ilkley Parish Council a verse this week thanking councillors for his annual payment, which was read out in the council chamber at Ilkley Town Hall on Monday night by the clerk.