Civic milestone for ex-Mayor

John Richmond and Ripon's market bell. (S)
John Richmond and Ripon's market bell. (S)

A FREEMAN and former Mayor of Ripon made it a ‘full house’ when he carried out one of Ripon’s traditional civic jobs.

John Richmond rang the 11am market bell – a ceremony carried out every Thursday at the weekly event and the last of the historic roles in the city he had yet to perform.

“I was very pleased to ring the bell and do all the civic jobs because these are traditions that we have managed to keep going all this time in Ripon,” he said.

Mr Richmond served as Mayor in 1975-76 and was made Freeman of the City in 2004.

He also acted as Serjeant-at-Mace in the 1970s, and has stood in as Stave Bearer on several occasions.

He debuted as Hornblower at Christmas 1975 when the then-Hornblower, a student at Ripon’s St John College, went home for Christmas leaving the city without anyone to perform the role.

“The old horn was very hard to blow, but I took it down into the cellars of the town hall and after a few goes got a note,” said Mr Richmond.

“I turned out for the first time a few days before Christmas, and I’ve blown the horn on several occasions since.”