Ripon singer serenades couple’s romantic Harrogate engagement
Jan 31, 2024
(from left) Freddie Cleary, Ashley Clark and Conor Walsh. Pic: LS Photography.

A Ripon musician serenaded a couple during a surprise marriage proposal outside The Blues Bar in Harrogate last Friday.

Singer and guitarist Freddie Cleary was asked by Conor Walsh, the soon-to-be-groom from Newcastle, to be a part of a secret proposal during a weekend trip to Harrogate with his now fiancé, Ashley.

Conor took to social media to find a singer who could pose as a busker and then perform Ashley’s favourite song while he got down on one knee.

Freddie, who is well known locally, told the Stray Ferret:

“Last month I saw a post from Conor on Facebook asking for a busker.

“He was planning an engagement proposal and wanted it to be in Harrogate.

“He had never been to the town before and wanted to see if he could hire a ‘busker’ to just be playing random songs and, as they arrived, to play a specific song on request, Waiting for Superman by Daughtry, which has a special meaning to both him and Ashley.”

Conor Walsh pops the question outside the Blues Bar. Pic: LS Photography.

Freddie said he helped Conor choose a location in the town, adding it was a “no brainer” to select the Blues Bar on Montpellier Parade bar, a live music venue where he regularly performs.

Noticing Freddie being photographed while performing outside the bar as they arrived, Ashley said she “just assumed he was having promo pictures taken”.

She told the Stray Ferret she was then left “completely speechless” when Freddie played the song and Conor got down on one knee. She said:

“We’re not the type of people that care about aesthetics, so it was just the perfect engagement.

“It was just us listening to live music – which we always like to do – and I didn’t even realise anyone was watching until they started cheering.

“I couldn’t have asked for it to have been better.”

Pic: LS Photography.

The couple also said they were so impressed by Freddie they have already planned for him to be part of their wedding day.

They had not visited Harrogate before the engagement, they said, but added it now holds a “special place in our hearts”.

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