Ripon celebrates ancient tradition.

The Long Meadow Care Home float, winner of Best Overall Float in this year's St Wilfrid Procession, passes through the Market Place.  (110730M2p)
The Long Meadow Care Home float, winner of Best Overall Float in this year's St Wilfrid Procession, passes through the Market Place. (110730M2p)
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In a centuries old tradition, Ripon has celebrated its annual St Wilfrid procession.

Amid glorious sunshine and soaring temperatures, thousands of city residents turned out to watch city man Tommy Hartley dress as Ripon’s founder and patron saint St Wilfrid and lead a 13-strong parade of floats around the city on Saturday afternoon, before a service of thanksgiving and a prize giving at the cathedral.

This year marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the procession with Tommy taking over the role of St Wilfrid from Peter “Bomber” Duffield, who had played the part for 15 years.

The day also saw a new attraction with a dramatic firework display over the town hall to draw celebrations to a close at 9.45pm.

Long Meadows care home celebrated after their entry to the parade was named best overall float, and procession stalwarts F B Taylor marked their 25th consecutive year of taking part by clinching the prize for best commercial entry.

More pictures and full story in this week’s Ripon Gazette, out Friday, August 5.