A great market day despite the rain

NARG 1207051 Ripon Market Day.  Youngsters from St. Wilfred's Catholic Primary School School help the Mayor of Ripon Andrew Williams and the Deputy Mayor of Ripon Pauline McHardy celebrate Love Your Market Day. (1207051AM1)

NARG 1207051 Ripon Market Day. Youngsters from St. Wilfred's Catholic Primary School School help the Mayor of Ripon Andrew Williams and the Deputy Mayor of Ripon Pauline McHardy celebrate Love Your Market Day. (1207051AM1)

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As the sun continues to elude Britain this summer and rain pours from the skies I started another week of engagements hoping that the weather would be kind for a change.

I had been invited to an event on Thursday promoting our market, activities had been organised by Harrogate Council to mark National Market Week and pupils from St Wilfrid’s had been asked to perform songs and mini plays for shoppers to watch.

A tombola to raise funds for Cancer Research and volunteers from Ripon Rowels Rotary Club were manning the stall and parents and grandparents had come to watch their children perform. Sadly the heavens had opened and rain more akin to a monsoon poured from the sky. The pupils were undeterred and they sung their hearts out and thoroughly entertained all of us who watched on, many soaking wet but spirits not dampened in the least. The tombola raised over £250 and it was pleasure to meet so many market traders who visit Ripon every week.

A warm and dry welcome awaited at the Wakeman’s House as I received a cheque from Brian Elsworth and EurAudit UK’s Ripon Office for £2500 to help fund the St Wilfrid’s Procession.

They have kindly agreed to be the main sponsor for the next three years and as chairman of the Procession Committee I would like to extend my very sincere to Brian and his colleagues for such a generous commitment.

Thursday evening was spent listening to the pupils of the Cathedral Choir School as they performed their end of term concert.

The musical talent on display was simply staggering and rightly the pupils received several standing ovations from the audience. The solo performances were amazing and it was impossible to miss the faces of proud parents and relatives as they watched and listened.

I know that the merger with Cundall Manor will not meet with approval from everyone but it does offer the hope of protecting the tradition of choristers at Ripon Cathedral whilst also offering certainty to the current pupils and parents.

The week has been dominated by young people and on Friday Pascar and I were guests of Lord Craithorne at the AGM of the North Yorkshire Scouts.

It was pleasing to hear that the number of scouts and adult volunteers had grown during the year and that so many local people give freely of their time to ensure young people have an opportunity to learn skills and develop friendships in their leisure time.

Ian Bowden has been doing just that for nearly five years in his capacity as the County Commissioner, no doubt spending much of his spare time devoted to the role. Ian will be known to many parents in Ripon and together with his wife Kate he will continue helping local scouts. Ian was presented with a collection from colleagues across North Yorkshire in recognition of his hard work in ensuring that collectively over the last five years the scout movement in North Yorkshire had grown significantly.

Saturday evening was spent in our second home, Ripon Cathedral as we were guests at the Jubilee Concert staged to raise funds to help maintain the cathedral.

The Leeds Festival Chorus combined with four solo performers and the York Philarmonic Orchestra to provide a concert that combined variety with tremendous music.

The remainder of the week has been spent undertaking meetings with a number of organisations within the city discussing ways in which Ripon can be enhanced.

have also been helping constituents with issues that they have contacted me about.

I have even managed to find a little time to do the day job as well.