A pleasant day in Ripon culminating in a Sainsbury shopping trip and an evening drink in the Black Bull. The reason for the lateness of the visit was to combine it with the blowing of the Wakeman's horn at 9pm in the city square.
This custom that has taken place without missing a single day for over eleven hundred years. King Alfred, he of the burnt cakes, presented a horn to Ripon in lieu of a charter and a Wakeman was appointed to blow the horn from the four corners of the market square at nine pm. and from then until daylight the town was under his protection.
George Pickles is the incumbent hornblower and a fine figure he cut in his coat and tricorn hat, but he now blows the fourth horn, the original one is on display in the town hall. After carrying out his horn blowing duties George gave a humurous and informative talk in a typical Northern manner and then handed out lucky wooden pennies with a promise that riches should fall our way. Obviously Jacquie is still a sucker for a man in uniform, I've never seen her move so fast when George offered to have his photo taken with anybody. A great ending to a lovely day.