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Happy 100th birthday to kind-hearted Ada - a Ripon resident who has devoted her life to helping others

Ada Burton
Ada Burton

Ripon’s annual nearly new sale has been a popular part of city life for decades - it’s become a tradition that countless residents look forward to each year, and you just never know what treasures you might uncover browsing the stalls.

Organised by the hard-working volunteers of Ripon’s Save the Children branch, the event rightfully commands huge loyalty and support - one city resident loves it so much, in fact, that she has been helping out at the sale for some 50, closer to 60 years.

Volunteers at this year's Save the Children nearly new sale at Hugh Ripley Hall.

Volunteers at this year's Save the Children nearly new sale at Hugh Ripley Hall.

Next week Ada Burton celebrates her 100th birthday, but this week she has been busily throwing herself into volunteering at the sale, where she has been known as a friendly face of the shoe stall for decades.

Regular visitors know that they can always enjoy a chat and a catch-up with Mrs Burton, whose big heart has touched the lives of many residents over the years.

Readers might well know Ada as the generous lady who handed out jam tarts at St Wilfrid’s Procession, or the lady who bravely raised the alarm when there was a robbery at Bondgate post office some years ago.

Police found traces of gunshot residue on her jacket, indicating that the robbers had shot at her as she fled to get help.

Ready to hand out jam tarts at the St Wilfrid's Procession: Ada Burton.

Ready to hand out jam tarts at the St Wilfrid's Procession: Ada Burton.

Having lived in Ripon since she was 14, Ada loves day-to-day life in the city, and has been very generous in supporting local charities over the years.

On her 90th birthday, rather than accept gifts, she asked well-wishers to make donations to Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Middle of the Road. More than 200 birthday cards landed through her letter box, too.

Ada said: “I’ve always liked Ripon, it’s still my little home town.”

Speaking about her 100th birthday, she said: “It’s just another birthday, I don’t feel like I’m 100.” Ada’s support of Ripon’s Save the Children branch doesn’t stop at the sale - she also played an instrumental role in the charity’s award-winning floats at St Wilfrid’s Procession.

Third in from the left: Ada Burton manning the shoe stall at the nearly new sale years ago.

Third in from the left: Ada Burton manning the shoe stall at the nearly new sale years ago.

It was Ada who dressed up as the old woman who lived in a shoe for a trophy-winning parade float.

Ada’s late husband Norman was a founding member of Ripon Lions. Their wedding ceremony was held at Ripon Cathedral, and they shared 27 years of very happy marriage together.

Family and friends are hugely important to Ada, and to celebrate her birthday she will be having a special family meal and an open house gathering with friends at her home.

This year’s Save the Children nearly new sale has already been a big success, and readers still have time to go and have a browse at Hugh Ripley Hall.

The sale is open from 10.30am to 4pm today, Thursday, 10.30am to 4pm on Friday, and 10am to 12pm on Saturday.

Ripon’s Save the Children is one of the top fundraising branches in the country, and last year’s sale raised an incredible £17,000. The sale has even had the royal seal of approval over the years, with two visits from Princess Anne.

The dedication of all the volunteers makes the event such a success, and the sale boasts everything from bric-a-crac, children’s clothes and women’s fashion, to tools, books, household goods and menswear.

Email finola.fitzpatrick@jpress.co.uk to share your latest Ripon news.