A HUGE crowd turned out to see Ripon’s nightly Setting of the Watch ceremony filmed for a television documentary series.
Comedian and TV presenter Adrian Edmondson was in the city on Monday to interview Hornblower George Pickles about the historic custom which can trace its roots back more than 1,100 years.
The ceremony will feature in Adrian’s upcoming ITV1 series, Ade in Britain, focusing on the origins of traditions and foods from around the country.
“I’ve never seen the square as full – more than 200 people turned out,” said the Hornblower.
“The support of the people added to the atmosphere and I think the TV programme will certainly promote the city and bring it to people’s attention.”
Coun Pickles invited the former Young Ones and Bottom star – who presents The Dales documentary series currently screening on ITV1 on Mondays – to hand out the Hornblower’s lucky wooden pennies to people in the crowd.
“The visitors were round him like bees round honey,” said Coun Pickles.
After the ceremony, the film crew followed the Hornblower to the Unicorn Hotel where he informed the Mayor, Coun Mick Stanley, that the setting of the watch had taken place.
Adrian then joined the Hornblower, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Coun Pauline McHardy for a couple of drinks.
Earlier in the day, Adrian had visited the town hall where he spoke with the Sergeant-at-Mace, Jim Vauvert, about the city’s charter horn and other ceremonial horns, and also the Mayor’s Sergeant, Geoffrey Johnson, about the mayoral chains.
And the televison presenter was out and about in Ripon the following day to film at the Deli on Duck Hill where he picked up some ingredients to make a ‘Yorkshire Brack’ cake.
Owner Don Grundy said Adrian also sampled a couple of local cheeses and a ginger cordial made to a 300-year-old recipe.
• Ade in Britain is due to be broadcast on ITV1 in November.