Ripon club transformed with exciting makeover and upgrade of facilities

Squadron leader Geoff Dickson, Commanding Officer at Menwith Hill, cuts the ribbon.
Squadron leader Geoff Dickson, Commanding Officer at Menwith Hill, cuts the ribbon.

A thriving social hub for Ripon residents has been transformed with an exciting makeover and redecoration of its premises.

To coincide with the centenary of the Royal Air Force, Ripon's branch of RAFA on Kirkgate (the Royal Air Forces Association), proudly unveiled its new look to a crowd of gathered guests and supporters earlier this month, with Squadron Leader Geoff Dickson, RAF Commander at Menwith Hill, cutting the ribbon for the big moment.

Celebrating 70 years of serving Ripon in 2017, the club is keen to attract more members and raise awareness of what it does within the community.

A bustling meeting place for members, Ripon's branch organises events and fundraisers throughout the year, and prides itself on creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Chairman Bill Cooke, said: "We are thrilled with how the place looks. It's been decorated and smartened up, and it looks good. To mark the RAF centenary, we wanted to reflect on our history and our achievements, and we also wanted to celebrate the work that the RAF is currently doing, and look forward to the next 100 years."

Mr Cooke said the refurbishment is designed to bring the club's facilities more up to date and generate fresh interest in what members can do.

City resident Kevin Johnson, who attended on the day to see the new facilities, said: “It was great to see people taking a look in. I thought it looked very clean, light, and very welcoming.

“They told me that we and anyone else who’s passing, don’t have to be members, and that they would be welcome to call in on a Saturday night when they are always open - also it would be a good place for a get together, party or meeting, and all members of the forces are welcome, not just the RAF.”

There are more than 400 RAFA branches all over the world, which serve thousands of members and create an important meeting place within each of these communities.

To find out more about the RAFA’s work in Ripon, call 01765 698009.

Their packed programme of events throughout the year includes pie and pea suppers, illustrated talks, and BBQs. Members are keen to hear from residents who are interested in finding out more.