Thursday, 14 July 2011

Public whipping - great entertainment for the family

This blogging lark attracts a fair amount of PR interest. Would I tweet about this, mention that or care to review the other but yesterday I received what I can categorically state is the strangest PR email I've ever received. I can't really say more than let you read it yourself, followed by the accompanying press release. I was tempted to take them up on their offer of images, if only to provide a pic to accompany this post but Alex @daddacool warned me O2 might ban my blog as being 'adult content' if I did. And that would never do. No. Because this is nothing if not a family blog. But is this a family event? I'll let you read and make up your own mind...

Hi Tim 
I thought you'd be interested in writing about this unusual, fun family event happening in Ripon, North Yorkshire on Thursday 28 July. It will be fun and educational for all the family and could be part of a day or weekend in this popular tourist area. 
Please let me know if you'd like images; an interview with the organisers or if you want to send a photographer to the event. 
Kind regards...

Press release – for immediate distribution

Whipping to take place at Ripon Market Place!

Ripon Museum Trust volunteers will be re-enacting the savage punishment of a Victorian convict on Thursday 28 th July to mark the launch of its new exhibition at the Courthouse Museum on Minster Road.

They will process from the Courthouse on Minster road to the Market Square and back between 10.30 and 11.30am.

The re-enactment is based on orders issued by Ripon magistrates that those sentenced should be:

‘Publickly whipt at the Market Cross in Ripon on Thursday between the hours of eleven and Twelve of the Clock... until their back be bloody’

Activities will continue throughout the day. Please telephone the museum office on 01765 690799 for details.

Ripon Magistrates Court heard cases from Ripon from 1830 to 1998. From conviction papers still in existence we get a good idea of what life must have been like in times past:

  • 1871 Failure to Vaccinate a Child
  • 1887 Prostitution in Allhallowgate
  • 1887 Theft of Child’s Drawers
  • 1877 Ill treatment of a Horse
  • 1877 Begging
  • 1877 Poaching
  • 1877 Drunkenness in a Public Place
  • 1880 Stealing Brass Taps from the Workhouse
  • 1880 Failure to send a Child to School
  • 1877 Assaulting the School Attendance Officer

The Courthouse building was opened as a museum originally by Ripon Museum Trust in 2000 and this month launches an exciting redisplay of its interior:

“We were delighted to be awarded a grant from Renaissance Yorkshire which allowed us to spend money on new mannequins, an audio system and graphic panels,” says courthouse curator Jill Wilkinson.

“The new exhibition tells the tells the story of the courthouse and the people who have passed through it – those who have worked here and those who fell foul of the law – the accused!”

A new feature of the displays is an interactive family trail a new ‘photo-fit’ quiz.

The Courthouse Museum is one of three museums run by the Trust. They run events for adults and families throughout the year – including two family events each week this summer.

Excellent value for money is provided by their 3-in-1 ticket allowing admission to all museums for 12 months with up to three accompanied children free – for only £8!

For details contact the museum office on01765 690799, email or see the website at

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