COLUMN: Mayor of Ripon’s diary

Mayor of Ripon Coun Andrew Williams.
Mayor of Ripon Coun Andrew Williams.

Coun Andrew Williams looks back at the festive period:

With the decorations packed away for another year and the long holiday over, my diary column this week gives me an opportunity to look back over the festive period.

Christmas started for Pascar and I as it did for many with the Nine Carols and Nine Lessons service at Ripon Cathedral.

We attended the service on Christmas Eve to a packed and very vocal cathedral. It was a real pleasure to listen to the choir and to join in with the traditional carols. It was very special way to start Christmas and we would like to thank the Dean and Chapter for inviting us.

Like many, no doubt, I had an early start to Christmas morning as I had family coming for lunch and tea later in the day.

With the goose on slow cook in the oven I left home to do my Christmas Day engagements and I hadn’t far to go for my first as I was visiting Lister House.

I want to again express my thanks to everyone who was working on Christmas Day, including our emergency services, so that the vast majority of the community could relax and enjoy the day.

Residents in our care establishments across Ripon would not have had Christmas lunch if it were not for the dedicated staff that cares so well for them all year round.

It was a delight to be able to chat to so many of the residents and indeed their families at Lister House as everyone enjoyed a Christmas drink before the residents had their lunch.

It was then to the Salvation Army on Lead Lane to join in the fun and the carol singing with around 50 local residents who had come together for their Christmas Lunch and to enjoy each other’s company.

It was very clear that everyone present was having a very enjoyable time and again my thanks to everyone at the Salvation Army for once again organising such a successful Christmas Day lunch.

Once civic duties were completed, I returned home to finish cooking lunch for my own family and no-one suffered food poisoning you will be pleased to hear!

We were blessed with a dry evening for New Year’s Eve as the wet and windy weather subsided and thousands gathered to celebrate in traditional style.

We departed the town hall at 11pm to process to the cathedral for the traditional service and it was a real spectacle to again see standing room only as the congregation stood with candles lit.For those who were already on the market square they were entertained by a Caribbean Band who seemed to have developed a real party mood.

It was pleasing to see so many enjoying themselves in good spirits and without any sign of trouble.

I must thank Lauren, my cousin’s daughter, for assisting me with the countdown to midnight and I know like many she really enjoyed watching the firework display.

May I once again wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.