RIpon has a new Deputy Hornblower who is to make his first solo performance at the setting of the watch ceremony later his week.
City man Paul Schofield stepped out beside Hornblower George Pickles at last Saturday’s St Wilfrid parade and after a week of training with Mr Pickles, he is to perform the nightly ceremony alone for the first time this Friday, August 8. He will then take over the setting of the watch every Saturday, and whenever Mr Pickles is away.
The city has been without a Deputy Hornblower since the previous incumbent US Menwith Hill worker Eugene Boarman returned to America in September 2010.
Mr Schofield said:
“It’s something I fancied doing for a while, and I just happened to mention to George that I wanted a go myself.”
“He collared me in the pub one day and told me to write a letter saying I was interested in the job of Deputy Hornblower. I was interviewed by the Mayor and a few other councillors, who said I looked like sort of bloke they wanted, and a few weeks later I got a letter saying the job was mine if I wanted it. I am really looking forward to it.”
Mr Schofield is a former brass band player who played with Ripon City Band until 2007, so has few worries about learning to sound the famous horn.
“I blew it on Monday night and it sounded nearly okay,” he said, “and walking about in a big brown coat and tricorn hat carrying a horn is a lot easier than carrying a dirty great E-flat bass.”
Originally from Rievaulx, Mr Schofield has lived in Ripon for 25 years.
“I came to college here as a mature student, and stayed so long amid its ancient charms that I became one,” he said.