The official opening of Celebrate Richmond 950 has been declared a success despite Saturday’s bad weather.
The day started with a Zoom call to Richmond’s twin town in France, St Aubin du Cormier, where the mayor of Richmond, Councillor Hodgson, and the 950 patron, Baroness Harris of Richmond, talked with the mayor of St Aubin and other dignitaries.
Outside in the rain the 950 team worked alongside the stallholders attending the historical market to erect and weigh down tents and display their wares ready for the official opening at 10am.
Marcie McLuckie, from the organising committee, said: “Many people came from Richmond and out of town, with some saying they had come to support the event because they knew how much effort had been put into the organising of the day and they wanted to lend their support.
“All the Celebrate Richmond 950 mugs sold out, so more now on order, and the three new ales – Home Front Mild Ale, Red Rufus Ruby Ale and 1071 IPA – launched by Richmond Brewing Company, slipped down a treat.
“A special 950 commemorative limited-edition print of the label image that has been created by artist, Mackenzie Thorpe, launched at Arthaus as part of the day’s celebrations.
“Jesters Lord Flame and Tom Fool were popular with all and provided a clever, hilarious entertainment throughout the day with local Medieval Musicians, Trouvere, playing throughout.”
At 12noon, Councillor Hodgson and Baroness Harris made their way from the Town Hall accompanied by the town’s mace bearers, the town clerk and town crier Barry Heap.
A muddled jester paid obeisance in front of the small parade, running backwards before the dignitaries, averting his eyes and shouting: “Don’t look, don’t look, it’s the Queen, it’s the Queen.”
“The restrictions imposed by Covid-19 have made organising and holding events difficult and for the entertainers and traders it was a relief to be able to get out and about again following a year locked up at home,” added Marcia.
Gill Page of Trouvere, said: “Really, it was a pleasure.
“The historical traders, fools and we musicians were all in complete agreement about how nice it was to actually get out there and perform / interact with real people after a whole year off.”
The town crier had prepared a suitable ditty for the occasion, which he proclaimed at full voice and the mayor and the Baroness announced the official opening of the 950th anniversary of the commissioning of Richmond Castle.
Cllr Hodgson said: “We had a fantastic day and send thanks to all involved.
“It was nice to at last have the opportunity to wear the mayoral robes.”
Many more events are organised for the forthcoming months, including Norman and Tudor concerts, outdoor cinema, a community archaeology project in Richmond Castle and a three-week exhibition curated by Richmond Rotary Club detailing 950 Years of Communication in Richmond.
In September there will be outdoor cinema at Aske Stables and a re-enactment by Conquest Living History in the castle.
The full list of events and a timeline of Richmond may be seen at www.richmond950.co.uk
There is still time and room for more events to be included in this year’s programme.
Anyone who would like to organise an event or needs more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To take part in the Community Archaeology project in Richmond Castle please sign up at https://digrichmondcastle.eventbrite.co.uk
Places are limited to 15 a day, so sign up early to avoid disappointment.
Celebrate Richmond 950 has been organised and part funded by the Original Richmond Business and Tourism Association with additional funding from Richmondshire District Council, Richmond Town Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Richmond Civic Society and the Castle Studies Trust.
Local people and businesses have added to the funds that have enabled the full programme for the year to go ahead.