Proud to be Ripon: How our city has truly outdone itself to mark the First World War centenary

Ripon Spa Gardens gates decorated with poppies. Picture: Rodney Towers.
Ripon Spa Gardens gates decorated with poppies. Picture: Rodney Towers.

New Riponian badges have gone on sale in The Little Ripon Bookshop, and they’ve been flying off the shelves ever since - residents have told the ‘Gazette that they’ve never felt prouder to be from Ripon and pin the badge to their chest.

Our city’s displays of 50,000 knitted poppies have attracted thousands of visitors, and the eyes of the world have been firmly on Ripon as we approach the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Curtains of poppies draped around Ripon Spa Gardens bandstand. Picture: Rodney Towers.

Curtains of poppies draped around Ripon Spa Gardens bandstand. Picture: Rodney Towers.

On Saturday morning, after the opening of Ripon’s new Remembrance garden, the Market Square was full of people taking photographs of our beautifully-decorated Town Hall, and that’s just a snapshot - everywhere you go, from Ripon Spa Gardens, right down to Kirkgate and Ripon Cathedral, residents and visitors alike are admiring the poppies.

Ripon Spa Gardens, and Ripon as a whole, has seen a significant increase in footfall over the last few weeks, and it’s all thanks to Ripon Community Poppy Project and the thousands of residents who have been pouring their hearts into knitting the poppies.

And readers have been sharing their thoughts about the stunning displays.

Diane Cromarty said: “I have always been proud to live in Ripon itself, but I am so proud of how the community has all come together to remember something so poignant to many.”

The entrance to Ripon Spa Hotel beautifully decorated.

The entrance to Ripon Spa Hotel beautifully decorated.

Lindy Webb said: “I feel that if just a little of the community spirit that brought Ripon together to produce this amazing tribute to the war veterans was to be felt in all our cities and towns, then this country would be a much better place to live in. So very proud of my city.”

Diane Thompson said: “The idea started, from acorn to tree, and like topsy it just kept on growing. We embraced it and went over and above what was needed, and boy, it’s fair champion, as they say around here. There has been nothing like it before and we shine above many other places.”

Bunting along Kirkgate. Picture: Rodney Towers.

Bunting along Kirkgate. Picture: Rodney Towers.

Ripon Town Hall's curtains of poppies. Picture: Rodney Towers.

Ripon Town Hall's curtains of poppies. Picture: Rodney Towers.