Monday, 29 May 2017

Ripping Ripon

Saturday 20th May to Sunday 21st May 2017

First up for the day was to push the boat over to the other side of the river to the service block – cassette to empty and a water tank to fill (don’t get them the wrong way around).
After that we only had to pull the boat forward one boat length and we were in position to fill the diesel tanks.
Popped up to the garage and let them know and it was a couple of minutes and someone was down to get us going – easy as – then paid them and we were on our way yet again.

Today would be fewer miles than yesterday.

We would pass from the River Ouse to the River Ure and then onto the Ripon Canal.

The locks do not seem to get any easier – they are still double locks and short – 57 feet is about the limit but going diagonally you could squeeze another couple of feet, but even us at 55’ are getting to the front and back almost at the same time – easier to go up, will be tighter coming back down.
The sun being out created such a perfect day for cruising

Spotted this pheasant  by the river...

...but this little chap was the prize of the day

Doesn't get much better than this
It has been such a great day cruising, and coming into Ripon it was simply a matter of winding at the end – missing a couple of small tourist boats moored right there and back to the moorings – long enough for three narrowboats.

Our thoughts initially (before getting here) were that we would stay two nights before we return back down the canal/river, but first it was necessary to do our work to explore the city.
Ripon has such a lot of these plaques around, that it is easy enough to do a
tour of the history without a map

As in most cities, the cathedral dominated the lives of everybody

There are three museums in the centre – a Police and Prison museum; a Courthouse museum; and a Workhouse museum. In addition there is the huge cathedral dominating the skyline (as they all seem to do).
We sussed out where things were and what we would need to do; found out some more interesting things about the city and started to make our plans about what we would be doing.
But first we needed some shelter from the rain that had started and as it happened we were right outside the cathedral, so it was a visit to church (yet again) – I think we can be placed in the category of regular church goers.

The Cathedral from the front

As it happened, there is an orchestra in the nave going through a rehearsal for the performance later in the evening, so we are able to wander around the place and seeing all of the interesting bits whilst listening to some extremely lovely music; even after we had finished we simply sat and listened for a good half hour – even Diane was enjoying it all – and she is not the classic music lover.

It was also a good excuse not to go outside into any remaining precipitation.

We listened and looked at the information that we had and talked about our plan of attack for tomorrow, before finally and a bit reluctantly heading back to the boat.

Diane had a couple of things on her mind – one was Dr Who and the other was Eurovision – so for me it would be a not-first choice evening.

Sunday morning definitely had a better start than Saturday had finished, so not long after breakfast we were off up the hill.

First calling point was the Workhouse Museum – we had seen examples of the other two but had not really touched upon this aspect of 19th century reality in any detail.

The Entrance - just as much a harsh place now as it must have been
all those years ago

It gives the stories of people who found themselves in a position that they were in the workhouse – the problems that they had faced; the conditions in the workhouse; the misery faced by all.
On the left was the female accommodation and males on the right

The reception centre where names and details were taken down

I only include this because a couple of years back we bought a set of these
scales in a charity shop

This was a typical bed for a mother (and her child)

The menu 

The outside work area for the men

D is for Diane, but it may mean something else
if she doesn't stop playing with her phone

The Laundry area../

...a lot of the vegetables and fruit were grown on site - obviously
to keep the costs down - nowadays they have replanted according to
how it would have been - the produce is used and sold to local businesses

One of the buildings was set aside as a hospital wing
and was used for elderly people until quite recently

We were glad to be able to add this part of history to our experiences.

It makes you feels glad that we live in the times that we do and we, personally, are in the position that we are.

A time for reflection, but time for lunch as well.

We had spotted a place the day before so it was a simple matter to go there – The Royal Oak Hotel.

In we went, and a table was found for us – roast for each of us, a half of Guinness each and we sat back to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

The meals duly arrived; well presented; it all smelled as delicious as it looked.

We both tasted and immediately knew that this would be special – it all was exceptionally good – not a bit was left on the plates.

The dessert menu arrived and we both were feeling a bit comfortable and nothing to worry about doing in any hurry – Why not?
The desserts were simply to die for – Diane had the sticky toffee pudding whilst I had the chocolate/orange truffle.

We eventually paid the bill (which was reasonable) and waddled our way back to the boat to recover – we had one more event to attend this evening.
If you go to Ripon – either by boat or by car – do yourself a favour and eat at the Royal Oak Hotel.

In amongst all of the literature concerning Ripon we had found an interesting item concerning the nightly performance of the Hornblower in the Market Square.
This ceremony has been going on every night since 886AD - a Ripon Wakeman (Hornblower) enters Market Square blows a note on his at each corner of the market cross at 9pm, which is known as Setting the Watch.
After the ceremony, the Wakeman for that night (there are two at the present time) gave a talk about the history.

Market Cross

The Wakeman

Worth staying up past my bedtime for that.

7 Miles, 4 Locks
YTD:  469 miles (755 km), 228 Locks, 15 Tunnels, 9 Lift Bridges, 18 Swing Bridges

Total: 5101 Miles (8209 km), 3379 Locks, 139 Tunnels, 75 Lift Bridges, 190 Swing Bridges

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