THE SIGNATURE sound of the Ripon Hornblower brought back memories for the town’s care home residents – when the first woman to hold the role paid them a visit.
Allison Clark, who was appointed in 2017, met residents at Sycamore Hall Care Home, on Kearsley Road, and gave a talk on the history of the Hornblower.
She also brought photographs of the Ripon tradition, which has seen the sounding of the horn every night for over 1,100 years, having begun in 886AD.
The residents shared their memories of the Hornblowers and Allison answered questions, before blowing the horn for her audience.
Richard Colley, 79, a resident at Sycamore Hall Care Home, said: “I remember living next door to the Mayor of Ripon and hearing the Hornblower outside the house every night.”
Fellow resident Berly Sallery, 86, said: “We used to come to Ripon from Harrogate with our children to see the Hornblowers. They really enjoyed it, as did we.”
Allison said: “I really enjoyed spending time with the older people. I love the memories that can be triggered by speaking with them.
“The elderly can be a forgotten generation and I believe strongly that they should be treated with respect and kindness. We can learn so much from them if we take the time and the trouble to listen.
“I felt the visit to Sycamore Hall went well. There was quite a lot of interaction with the residents and evidently it triggered the recall of some precious memories for some, which was lovely.
“The atmosphere felt very warm and compassionate, and I really got a sense of good teamwork from all the staff. Their interactions with each other and with the residents was lovely and I was very impressed.”
Ewelina Sosnowska, home manager at Sycamore Hall Care Home, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Allison and her husband, John, for paying us a visit.
“Our residents thoroughly enjoyed hearing all about the ancient role of the Ripon Hornblower as well as Allison’s personal experience – being the first woman ever to take it on.
“The conversations sparked many memories among the residents – some of whom have dementia – having grown up with the sound and sight of the Ripon Hornblowers carrying out their duties every night.
“It was a fascinating insight into the role and one we will all remember for a long time to come.”