A local town crier has used his unique skill in one of the quirkiest ways imaginable – to sell his own property.
“Hear ye, hear ye, welcome to our open house at the beautiful Berkeley Vale,” 80-year-old Bill Wallace shouted from his front lawn, decked out in his costume of red and gold, his bell echoing loudly down Lakedge Avenue.
Mr Wallace has been an official town crier since his 40s, having worked as a character actor at Old Sydney Town, he has performed at Sydney’s iconic Queen Victoria Building and is currently the official Lane Cove town crier.
Town Crier Bill Wallace poses for a photograph outside his Berkeley Vale home which is for sale. Image: Mark Scott.
“A lot of people have asked me, how do you become a town crier? And I always say, a big voice, big ego and you have to like dressing up in funny clothes,” he said.
Well before the days of technology, a town crier, also called a bellman, was an officer of the court who made public pronouncements as required by the court. In Medieval England, town criers were the chief means of news communication with the townspeople, since many were illiterate in a period before the movable type was invented.
When the need for a town crier disappeared, the position passed into local folklore.
RELATED: BILL WALLACE’S LAKEFRONT PROPERTY AT BERKELEY VALE
The set of Old Sydney Town, where Mr Wallace was one of the original performers. Picture: @switchy3 / Mitchell Hubbard.
However modern town criers have been appointed to uphold the medieval tradition – something that Mr Wallace is proud to be part of.
“I performed at Windsor Castle at an invitation only world championship, and I’ll soon be competing in the Australian Championships in Warrnambool,” he said.
“I’ve been working in the Arts my whole life, and this is a passion of mine.”
In 2013, Mr Wallace competed in National Town Crier Championships, winning the best cry category. He placed second in the seniors division in 2015.
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Lake views from Mr Wallace’s property at 35 Lakedge Avenue, Berkeley Vale.
He is now using his unique talent for more of a personal reason – to help sell his beloved waterfront property at 35 Lakedge Ave, Berkeley Vale.
“I’ve often thought that role of a town crier is similar to an auctioneer, so this is just a bit of fun for me,” he said.
“I am reluctantly selling my home, but it is time to downsize. My late wife and I fell in love with the light-filled living spaces and the garden that overlooks the cycleway.”
Mr Wallace’s home at 35 Lakedge Ave, Berkeley Vale is for sale vai Louise Hackmann at McGrath Long Jetty and has a price guide of $780,000. Click here to see the “House of the week” feature on the property.