Sights and Sounds celebrates everything that makes Ripon special for a sixth year

The Sights and Sounds of Ripon is back for a sixth year, and it's bigger and better than ever - boasting over 30 attractions to celebrate everything, and everyone, that makes our city special.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 11:29 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:04 am
Sights and Sounds map.

Organised by the Ripon Minster ‘My Neighbourhood’ project, the popular family event will run from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, and will be opened at the Cathedral by the Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson, with the Ripon Hornblower at 11am.

Community groups, charities and museums will all be on hand to show why they are a treasured sight and sound of Ripon.

Ripon City Morris DancersFor the first event of their dancing year, the Ripon City Morris Dancers will be performing outside the Cathedral at 11am, before moving to the Market Square at 12, and the Workhouse Museum at 1:30pm. Ripon City Morris Dancer Ted Dodsworth said: “We are one of the sights and sounds of Ripon city, that’s why we’re taking part. We need to bring more people out into the streets and show off what’s going on in Ripon, and help put our city on the map. “It’s the first event of our dancing year and a good opportunity to shake off the cobwebs.”

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Ripon CathedralThere will be a special opportunity to play Ripon Cathedral’s historic Harrison and Harrison organ from 11:30am to 12:30am, and there will be a pop up cafe, family crafts and a Quarter Peel of bells from 10am to 10:45am. Bell tower tours run from 11am. Joseph Priestley, Press Officer at the Cathedral, said: “We are very excited to be involved with Sights and Sounds. We have been on the fringes of the event for a while and this year we said we wanted to be more central to it. “We are hoping to bring in new people who might have lived in Ripon for years but have not been in the Cathedral. With our programme of activities we hope to make it a really special experience for those people, giving them something that they wouldn’t necessarily experience on an average day.”

Ripon MuseumsAll three museums will be offering free entry for Sights and Sounds.

Workhouse museumGuided tours of the Workhouse museum will run at 12:30pm and 1:45pm, and a pop up cafe is open 11am to 4pm. There will be a chance to experience life as an inmate with Victorian school lessons, wash day chores, and a taster of rag rugging. Traditional Ripon dances from the Betty Lupton’s Ladle Laikers and Ripon City Morris Dancers start at 1pm. A Ripon Mysteries and Workhouse Horrors’ tour of the workhouse will be provided by Ripon Ghost Walks at 3pm. There is also free face painting 11am to 4pm, the opportunity to find out how you can get involved in volunteering through Ripon Culture and Connections, and advice from North Yorkshire Horizons Drug and Alcohol Awareness, and the White Rose Credit Union and Universal Credit. A performance from Ripon Evolve telling the story of Ripon then and now will entertain visitors.James Etherington, Director of Ripon Museums, said: “We are delighted to take part again this year and throw our doors open to welcome all of Ripon to the museums and see our wonderful new exhibition, ‘Urchins, Sprogs and Guttersnipes’ which reveals the tales of not so lucky Victorian children.”

Courthouse museum A court case re-enactment will bring exhibitions and displays to life for visitors, and there will family and audio trails.

Ripon Prison and Police museumFind out how it feels to be a Victorian criminal, be locked in a cell, and have your finger prints taken.

Ripon libraryMeet volunteers from 11am to 2pm, ahead of the library becoming a hybrid service from April 1. Find out how you can get involved to help keep the library open. Families can also make the most of a children’s story time at 11am and 1pm. Chair of Ripon Library Action Group, Roy Slater, said: “We have had 80 volunteers come forward, but we are always looking for more to help keep the library open, because you never know when people’s circumstances change and when they might have to move on from volunteering.” Greg Kubas, Service Development Officer at Ripon Library, said: “Ripon Library is once again delighted to be part of the annual Sight and Sounds of Ripon event and to provide access to information and services available in the Ripon area.“The library has always been at the heart of the community and this event is a perfect opportunity for visitors to come along and talk informally with representatives of local organisations and find out what they do.”

Library advice and support stands

Access information and advice from Neighbour Watch, Dementia Forward, University of the 3rd Age, and discover volunteering opportunities on offer in our city through the Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service. IDAS will be running a domestic and sexual abuse support workshop on signs of abuse, 12-12:45pm. There is also the chance to find out more about the proposals for a new swimming pool to replace Ripon Spa Baths.

Ripon Re-viewed The library will showcase Ripon Re-Viewed’s treasured historical photographs of our city. Fiona Friday, Partnerships and Voluntary and Community Sector Officer at Harrogate Borough Council, said: “What’s been really gratifying at previous Sight and Sounds - and I’m sure the same will happen again this year – is that there’s always a great mix of ages attending the different stalls, shows and attractions. “This year’s event is bigger than ever and there should be something on offer for all ages to enjoy amongst the sights and sounds of the city.” The Market SquareFind out more about the work of the emergency services by watching firefighters car cutting, or taking a lie down in an ambulance.The Betty Lupton’s Ladle Laikers and Ripon City Morris Dancers perform at midday.

Ripon Town Hall Learn about the city’s historic silverware with a special talk from 12 until 2, and the Hornblower will be there at 12.

A full list of Sight and Sounds activities and attractions is available at