Presentation of The McHardy / Quest Horn

The City of Ripon in North Yorkshire has a unique tradition that dates back to Ad886. Following the granting of a charter to the city, each evening at exactly 9 pm, a horn is blown at all four corners of the obelisk in the centre of the market square by one of four hornblowers.  Local folklore & legend has it that if the horn fails to sound on all four corners at 9 pm each night, the ghost of a former Wakeman will emerge from its slumber and appear in a window of the Wakeman's House and that bad things will come to Ripon. 

In 2011, the horn failed to blow at precisely 9 pm one night and in the early hours, a small but noticeable earthquake occurred, waking residents across North Yorkshire.

Coincidence? Well, maybe or is the legend really true?

Additional Notes

All the images in this portfolio were taken of my own volition & had no input or affiliation from or with Ripon City Council.



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Presentation of The McHardy / Quest Horn

Prior to the presentation of the horn in May 2019, Ripon only had 3 horn blowers who all blew the three horns each evening at 9pm. The oldest of these horns dates back to 1690 and is kept in Ripon Town Hall. 

The acquisition of the new horn came about following the Right Worshipful Mayor of Ripon, Pauline McHardy sourcing a new horn from an English longhorn bull who due to ill health had to be euthanised by a vet in 2018. 

The bull in question was 'world famous' in that he had played a starring role chasing Toby Jones & Bill Nighy in the 2016 Dad's Army Film and was owned by Ruth Russell of Duggleby High Barn. 

Following a happy & successful life, one of Quest the bull's horns was donated to form the new horn for the City Of Ripon and underwent preparation work in the Czech Republic, Leeds and Ripon before being presented by Pauline McHardy upon her retirement as Mayor of Ripon in 2019.

On Friday 3rd May 2019, following the Tour De Yorkshire, a ceremony was held whereby Pauline McHardy presented the horn to the City of Ripon before it was then blown in synchronisation with the other three as the horn blowers stood at all four corners of the obelisk. 

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