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Coping in Ripon

Howard Maunders of Beautiful Britain writes, "I thought that this might interest you. It’s a story from cold, snowy Ripon in Yorkshire where 'Temperatures by 9am yesterday had risen from -12C to -10C, but the end may not yet be in sight'.

It started snowing on December 17. With barely a day’s respite since, residents of the city on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales have slipped and slithered along their pavements, dug out their driveways and scraped ice from their cars.

. . .Mr Pickles, 73, has been the Ripon hornblower for six years. At 9pm daily he strides in ceremonial uniform to the 300-year-old obelisk in the centre of the market square to blow the horn that has sounded nightly since 886. “I’ve been wearing my long johns and one night I thought my lips were going to stick to the horn, but I always know that when I get home there’ll be a glass of whisky waiting,” he said. “The people of Ripon can rest assured that a night will never be missed.”

. . .Ripon was granted its first royal charter by King Alfred the Great in 886. It has a cathedral, a cobbled market square, winding streets and a population of 16,500 who have known warmer weeks than this.

Howard concludes, "Britain may not be good at coping with snow, but when it comes to keeping up traditions, we are the best!"

Indeed. In the teeth of the government's safety curbs.

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