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Published by the Society in the Ripon Gazette, 28th December 2007
IT'S almost 2008 – a very special year for Ripon Civic Society, which celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Back in 1968 there were student riots across Europe, the Soviets ended the Prague Spring by invading Czechoslovakia, the last passenger steam train ran from Carlisle to Liverpool and Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in Ripon, a meeting was held in the Hugh Ripley Hall to set up a new Civic Society for Ripon – perhaps not as important a news story globally, but an event that has had important results for the city.

Over the years Ripon Civic Society has been zealous in helping to protect and improve the environment of the city, and in helping its citizens and visitors to learn more about its history. The society exists for several reasons, set out in its constitution.

They include the promotion of civic pride and research, acting as a co-ordinating body with others, publishing books, undertaking surveys and holding meetings. It has done all this and more – think of the transformation of the wasteland by the Sainsbury’s car park into Allhallows Park, and, even more importantly, the re-ordering of the Market Square, which was originally a Civic Society initiative.

The 40th anniversary year will be celebrated in several ways. On April 11 Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, will give a talk in Holy Trinity Church. The talk starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10 (£8 to Ripon Civic Society members). Everyone is welcome.

If you would like to attend, please send a cheque made payable to ‘Ripon Civic Society’, together with a stamped, addressed envelope, to RCS 2008, Victoria Villa, Princess Road, Ripon HG4 1HW.

A new book, ‘The Historic Streets of Ripon,’ has already been published to make the anniversary, and another, on the ghosts of Ripon, is on the way.

There are also plans for a fountain near the new Booths supermarket, as well as a celebratory lunch later in the year.

And as well as celebrating, the society will continue to watch over the city and its buildings.

The first 40 years are only the beginning – why not make it your New Year’s Resolution to join Ripon Civic Society and make your voice heard?

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