Ripon Cathedral Ringers held their Annual Dinner on Saturday 10th March. After some years at Roecliffe, we decided to move back to the city, choosing The Old Deanery as our venue. As its name might suggest, this is the hotel and restaurant very close to the Cathedral!
We were pleased that The Dean (an occasional “if I’m not busy downstairs” ringer) and Ripon’s Lady Mayor were able to accept our invitations. The presence of The Mayor within the city meant that, shortly after 9pm, the Hornblower came to report to her, with several blows of the horn, that the Watch was set and all was well.
Our Master of Ceremonies for the evening was our Ringing Master, Martin Davies. Next year, he has made it clear that it will be the turn of the Tower Captain! After the Loyal Toast, proposed by Geoffrey Johnson, the traditional touch on handbells was rung by Martin, Simon Ogier and Robert Wood. Martin gave a short, witty speech, looking back at some of our activities and then presented The Brian and Ruth Waines trophy to his daughter Martha, who, in the last few months, has rung her first two quarters on our bells. This was not nepotism – several of us had been consulted and had agreed that Martha was the worthy recipient.
However, we sprang a surprise on Martin by ending the meal with a lusty rendition of Happy Birthday and the presentation of a delicious iced fruit cake, made by Jo Mitchell, to celebrate his recent 50th birthday. The Dean then spoke a few words, thanking us for our contribution to the life of the Cathedral and giving us an insight into possible future plans to enhance the visitor experience (yes, toilets were mentioned!).
Finally, our Lady Mayor added her thanks for the contribution that the ringers make to the life of the city. She has been to previous dinners when mayor, but she acknowledged that some of our vocabulary is still a mystery!
Thanks to Anne Wood for the write up.