The poppy effect: Visitor numbers soar at Ripon Spa Gardens

Curtains of poppies decorating Ripon Spa Gardens bandstand.
Curtains of poppies decorating Ripon Spa Gardens bandstand.

The number of visitors to Ripon Spa Gardens has seen a significant increase since the displays of knitted poppies went up.

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The latest figures from Harrogate Borough Council show footfall increasing from 9,621 in September, to 13,650 in October.

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More than 50,000 knitted poppies are decorating Ripon to mark the First World War centenary, and the reaction to the displays from residents and visitors has been overwhelming. And with its curtains of poppies draped around the bandstand, and poppies lining the gates, Ripon Spa Gardens has been a real focal point for people to admire Ripon’s efforts.

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And on Sunday, the gardens will be an important focal point for Remembrance, as residents gather to place wreathes and come together for a two-minute silence.

A parade will then set off from the Spa Gardens to Ripon Cathedral, with 240 schoolchildren taking part - each carrying a poppy bat listing the names of those who served in the First World War from Ripon.

Proud of all of Ripon’s efforts to mark the centenary, city resident Louise Liddle said: “So very proud of our wonderful little city of Ripon. Thank you to all who have been involved.”

Julie Ann Simpson said: “I’m extremely proud to have been part of this, and even more proud of the city’s community for pulling it all together like this. Well done to everybody, it’s amazing.”