It was a joyous day at Ripon cathedral when 74 couples renewed their marriage vows
The special service – attended by civic dignitaries from across the region – was for anyone who got married in 1968, or earlier. Her Majesty The Queen,.represented by Brig Nigel Wood, DL, sent her congratulations and best wishes to all those participating for a most memorable and enjoyable occasion.
The service was led by the Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson with the Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Toby Howarth preaching. It was televised by BBC across the region.
The couples were joined by friends and family for the occasion. Each ‘bride’ received a delicate gold corsage and there was wedding cake and refreshments afterwards.
During the service the boy choristers and lay clerks of Ripon Cathedral Choir sang - with a particularly beautiful and fitting rendition of Philip Wilby’s If Ye Love Me.
1968 was a year of riots in Paris, anti-war protests outside the American embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square, Russian tanks rolling into Prague and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Yet, for all its turbulence, 1968 had its lighter moments too. It was the year that saw the premiere of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the start of Dad’s Army and The Golden Shot on television.
The first such service was held in Ripon around 20 years ago
Among those taking part were Judith and Rob Hillery from Ripon who got married in the cathedral in April 1968. Judith was given away by the former MP for Harrogate, the Rt. Hon. James Ramsden. She had been the nanny to his five children and two of his daughters were bridesmaids. Judith had strong links to the cathedral as she was undermatron at the former choir school.
Rob, a former police officer, recalled: “I come from a large Ripon family so it was quite a big wedding. Judith’s sister came over from America, one of the bridesmaids came from Scotland and members of my family also came from the Midlands.” Among them was Rob’s brother, Cecil, who had got married some years earlier and who came to the cathedral to celebrate his own golden wedding a few years ago.