New horn to mark Jubilee

A new Horn will be commissioned for Ripon to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 3:05 pm
Allison Clark one of the Ripon hornblowing team keeping the tradition going by blowing the 1690 horn in her Ripon garden .

The proposal, put forward by city Councillor Andrew Williams, was agreed at a recent council meeting.

Coun Williams said: “We have now got four Hornblowers and each has been issued with a horn to blow of their own because of Covid.

“One of them dates back to 1690 and it’s a little fragile and we are wanting to take that out of blowing commission.

“So, the idea I had would be that it would be nice to do something that marked the Queen’s Jubilee as a permanent marker.

“The horn is the symbol of the city and it seemed a good idea to bring the two together.”

The new commission will be a highlight of a programme of events, announced later this year, to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee next June.

“It takes some time to source a horn and make it into a blowing instrument,” added Coun Williams.

“We need to source a suitable animal’s horn. It is not a straightforward process. We need something that can be turned into a blowing horn.”

He said that Ripon already had a tribute to a past monarch.

“When Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, the city erected the Clock Tower as a permanent reminder.

“It is incredibly important that Ripon and the whole country marks this Jubilee.

“The Queen has given tremendous service to the country for what is now all but seven decades and we do need to mark that appropriately.

“The council will be releasing details later this year but there will be a fully organised programme of events in the Market Square and Spa Park during the official weekend.”

The Ripon Hornblower is a custom that dates back as far as Saxon times when King Alfred gave the ancient city a horn as a symbol of its Royal Charter, suggesting a Wakeman’ to guard over it through the night.

The tradition has continued to this day, although is now shared by four hornblowers.