Remembrance: Ripon unveils best light show in the UK

Ripon's stunning and poignant tribute to the fallen. Picture: Rodney Towers.
Ripon's stunning and poignant tribute to the fallen. Picture: Rodney Towers.

When it comes to commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War, it's difficult to rival Ripon's efforts.

Last night, a light show was beamed onto Ripon Cathedral, projecting poignant and moving images of those who served in the war from Ripon.

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Hundreds gathered outside the Cathedral in respectful silence, as families remembered their own relatives who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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It's a spectacular but tasteful tribute that shows Ripon is once again leading the way in its Armistice Day commemorations. Silhouette outlines of soldiers and poignant verses of wartime poetry could also be seen, moving many to tears.

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It seemed only appropriate that the light show also saw Ripon Cathedral totally covered with images of poppies, too - not only as a symbol of Remembrance, but also a symbol of Ripon's extraordinary efforts to mark the First World War centenary.

More than 50,000 knitted poppies have been made by residents, community groups and businesses across the city to line the parade route for Armistice Day - from Ripon Spa Gardens to Ripon Cathedral.

The Chairman of Ripon Royal British Legion, Jeet Bahadur Sahi, said: "The centenary of the end of the First World War is marked by all places but nowhere like Ripon. Ripon’s celebration stands out through their community spirit and painting the city red. The First World War is known for the most bloodshed and lives lost.

"Ripon is red in every nook and cranny just like it would have been during the war, but the difference is that today they are poppy flowers, the sign of joy and freedom."

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The light show can be seen until Saturday, from 6pm to 10pm. On Saturday, the show can be seen from 6pm to 7.30pm, then 9.15pm to 10pm.

Ripon Community Poppy Project, spearheaded by Ripon councillor Stuart Martin and Hazel Barker, secured funding for this ambitious light show project, which has cost around £10,000 in total - including production, hire of equipment, road closures, and funding for a centenary concert at Ripon Cathedral.