From October 2007 to November 2018 inclusive the Society’s previous Chairman, historian David Winpenny, composed these Heritage articles for publication in the Ripon Gazette, part of the Johnson Press local newspaper Group.

  • THE FINAL COLUMN – THANK YOU FOR READING!

    November 1, 2018 This is the 569th of these columns. It is also the final one – and the only one that I shall write in the first person! I shall retire today as Chairman of Ripon Civic Society, so it seems an appropriate time to say my farewells to all of you who are generous enough to ... Read more...
  • JUST OFF OUR LOCAL MOTORWAY

    October 25, 2018 Motorways are convenient for getting about the country – though not usually the most pleasant of experiences. Most service stations leave much to be desired, though there are exceptions; the Tebay Services on the M6 and the Gloucester Services on the M5 are usually considered to be worth stopping at. For those of us who desire ... Read more...
  • THE CIVIC SOCIETY’S AWARDS 2018

    October 11, 2018 It’s always pleasing to be recognised for our achievements. Whether we’re awarded gold medals at the Olympics, a knighthood from the Queen or a new badge to be sewn on to our Brownie or Scout uniform, getting some form of tangible praise is good for our ego. So the Ripon Civic Society 2018 Awards, which took ... Read more...
  • HOW TO FINISH THE UNFINISHED

    October 4, 2018 How do you complete an unfinished building? Perhaps it’s not a question you’ve had to consider; when you buy a house you will expect it to be finished. Yet the question has often arisen on some of the past’s important structures, and the completion has posed problems of taste and of finance. You may expect that ... Read more...
  • ANGELIC VISITATIONS – RIPON INCLUDED!

    September 27, 2018 How often is Ripon visited by angels? Saturday is the feast day of St Michael and All Angels – Michaelmas Day – so it’s a topical question, perhaps. We can, of course, have no way of knowing; there are some who say that when we find a single white feather floating from the sky we ... Read more...
  • SECRET RIPON BOOK PUBLISHED

    September 20, 2018 ‘Blowing your own trumpet’ is not usually considered to be a good thing. The thesaurus gives its alternatives as boastfulness, pretension, ostentation, swagger, self-promotion, one-upmanship, hubris, attention-seeking and (a nice portmanteau word of which Humpty Dumpty himself would have been proud) ‘humblebrag’. So it’s with some trepidation that the words might be applied to this week’s ... Read more...
  • FROM CHURCH INSTITUTE TO HAIR SALON

    September 13, 2018 The Institute. Somehow, the words have (except perhaps for the WI) a rather old-fashioned ring. Institutes must be, we tend to think, a hang-over from the 19th century when serious-minded, top-hatted gentlemen (nearly always gentlemen) set up their Institutes to progress their own scientific or philanthropic ideas. They were in many ways central to Victorian life ... Read more...
  • HERITAGE ON VIEW IN HODs

    September 6, 2018 It’s September – and Heritage Open Days are here again. Close attention to these columns over the years will have given you the lowdown on the phenomenon that is HODs (to give the event its less formal designation); but if you’ve missed the information over the years, it may be worth reiterating the value of the ... Read more...
  • HOW SHORT IS A SHORT CANAL?

    August 30, 2018 The standard answer to a question like ‘How long will it take?’ is another: ‘How long is a piece of string?’ May we offer an alternative to that somewhat annoying response – ‘How long is a canal?’? For canals vary in their length just as much as pieces of string – though few strings will reach ... Read more...
  • GRAFITTI – BAD AND GOOD

    August 23, 2018 We all complain about graffiti. Louts who deface walls by scratching in their names or insults to others, or who use spray paint to leave their often-ugly mark on any accessible flat surface, spoil the environment for others. Yet historical graffiti can tell us a great deal about the past. Someone who left their mark centuries ... Read more...

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