LOOKING BACK from our archives ... September 1956

THIS week we go back to September 13, 1956 to find two of the city's oldest buildings crumbling away and a mysterious buzz around the city caused questions to be raised at the town hall.


THE poor state of Ripon's ancient buildings prompted the city council to look for help from outside bodies to help raise the estimated 13,000 restoration costs.

Council members had been handed a report from a team of York architects which put the cost of repairs to Thorpe Prebend House at 10,000 and restoration of the Wakeman's House at 3,000.

The findings came at a time when work was taking place to shore up the front of the Wakeman's house which the city engineer, Mr P Molyneux, said was falling into an increasingly dangerous condition.

The architect's report on Thorpe Prebend House said: "The general condition of the property is such that a considerable amount of renovation and restoration work is very necessary both to bring the building up to present day standards and conserve its fabric generally."

Councillors agreed to look for help in raising funds and seek clarification over what their obligations were to maintaining the buildings.

barracks visit

PARENTS of young soldiers at Ripon's Harper Barracks were invited to spend the weekend at the base as VIP guests of Five Training Regiment, The Royal Signals.

Around 50 parents were collected from Ripon Railway Station before being shown around the workshops, barracks and parade ground by their sons.

A busy weekend saw the guests entertained with a variety performance at the garrison theatre and children taken for rides on utility vehicles.

The event was planned to coincide with Regimental Weekend which saw 400 men from the Royal Signals parade through the city.

record rainfall

DISAPPOINTINGLY dull Augusts were also a problem in 1956 according to a report on the front page of the Gazette. The wettest August in 21 years was experienced in our area where 6.2 inches of rain fell - more than double the expected.

The average temperature for August 1956 was a meagre 13C/55F.

Amateur weather man, Mr W Clough of Burton Leonard, who supplied the figures, concluded it was the coldest, wettest August recorded in 21 years.

causing a buzz

A MYSTERIOUS buzz heard throughout Ripon prompted a question from a city council member who wanted to know if it had anything to do with the city's engineering department.

City engineer, Mr P Molyneux, said his department had no connection with the mysterious buzz but admitted he had heard it himself that afternoon in the Palace Road area.

The noise was said to be strongest in Kirkby Road.