Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Ripon Hornblower

We met the hornblower last night. 
As we walked across the market square it was freezing cold and there was nobody about. It was cold and dark but there he was, George Pickles the Ripon Hornblower, by the obelisk in the market Square.
We were his sole audience and  we watched him blow his horn in four places around the obelisk and then doff his cap to the house on the corner. Intrigued, I asked him what he was doing. His explanation (click on the link for a full explanation) was that he was acknowledging the imposition set by the first mayor of Ripon in 1604. After we finished chatting he set off to find the current mayor (at home) and he would proclaim outside the mayor's house that the watch had been set.
This ceremony has been enacted without a break for 1100 years. Fascinating.

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