A visit to Ripon

College Road

As you may know I went to the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate a few weeks ago as a visitor. I requested an invite from the organisers as I’m intending on taking a stand at next years show in April 2015 and as I’ve never even been to a trade show before I really wanted to have a look around and find out more about what is involved. I took Colin, Milo and the dog with me and we stayed in Ripon.

It was an amazing weekend away, as not only did I visit the BCTF for a whole day, I also got to visit Ripon which was a lovely blast from the past as when I was 19 years old, I left home and went to college there to study teaching. I hated it and quickly switched to study art and never looked back.

We stayed at a pub round the corner from my old college, which sadly has been left abandoned for years now – well the art block has – the main college buildings have all been turned into flats. I went on a little ‘down memory lane’ walk with the dog one evening and it was lovely to visit my old haunts…

College Road

College Road


Madonna and Child

I used to pass this on a daily basis and photographed it over and over again…

Madonna and Child


The Ripon Campus

This was the art department entrance with the porters lodge in the foreground and the art block in the distance.

Ripon Campus


The Art Block Main Entrance

I wish I still had photos of me and my colleagues sitting on the steps here!

The art block main entrance


The Art Block



The Side Entrance to the Art Block

This was just next to my studio and the entrance I used everyday. Looking a little neglected and overgrown with plants now – what a shame!

The art block side entrance


My Sculpture Studio

Behind the trees are the windows to my sculpture studio. As the only sculpture student, I had the studio to myself. There was a massive long belfast type sink by these windows. The studio was hit with the most amazing evening light and the window frames used to cast lovely shadows on the studio floor. I loved that room!

My Sculpture Studio


The College Emblem

College Emblem


Private Residents Only

Oh how things have changed!

Residents Only


The Old College Buildings

All converted into flats now. I bumped into a woman who lived there and said when she first moved in she lived in what used to be the college library and the flat was amazing. She now lives in one of the new build flats round the back of this building. Seems so odd. I wish I could’ve gone inside and had a good look around.

Ripon College converted into flats


Park Road

I used to live in a flat at the back of this building – apparently haunted – it was a very strange place to live, but I shared the space with a very unusual bunch of people and it was a very unusual time in my life.

Park Road where I used to live

There’s the door that led into my kitchen and living room.

Park Road where I used to live

And there’s the windows to my room up at the top. I used to climb out onto the roof with my flatmate and sit there in the evening sun and we’d smoke and play our guitars.

My flat in Park Road


Ripon Spa Baths

This was across the road and a great place for a swim.

Ripon Spa Baths


It’s still there!

OMG! After all these years the kebab shop is still there! My flat mate used to work there and we used to hang out there a lot and get free pizzas.

OMG the kebab shop is still there!


The Market Square

Ripon Market Square

The phone boxes I used to use to call home.

The phone booths from which I used to call home

And this shop used to be a 1hr photo lab that I used to run!

This used to be a photo lab that I used to run


The One Eyed Rat

This pub served up some seriously strong ales and fruit wines

The One Eyed Rat used to sell superb fruit wines


Ripon Cathedral

I had a lovely walk around the cathedral grounds. Such an amazing place. I can’t believe that I used to ring the bells in this cathedral. Never on a Sunday though, as I wasn’t very good. I just used to go to the practice sessions on a Wednesday evening to learn from the masters. Bell ringing is not easy – it involves a lot of strength and a lot of counting. I think I was bell number 3 and I was generally always out by a second or two. But it was great fun!

Ripon Cathedral

Cathedral ruins