This film is part of Free

Beauty Spots of Ripon

As the more affluent visit the Spa Pump Rooms in Ripon, those of a more outdoors spirit have their own bathing huts placed next to the River Ure ready for their Sunday dip.

Documentary 1922 20 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Preserved historic monuments, landscape and traditions stand cheek by jowl with fashions that haven’t survived the rapid changes of the twentieth century. Here we see swimmers in woolly costumes using bathing huts on the River Ure, and women playing tennis in long skirts, alongside a tour of historic buildings in and around Ripon as they were in 1922, finished off with the Sergeant at Mace and the Ripon Hornblower keeping a watchful eye out for troublemakers.

We can only speculate on who made it and for what purpose. In some respects it appears an early example of a tourist film, showing Ripon and historic buildings in the area. Certainly after the First World War, US tourists in particular were doing the rounds of British cathedrals. The famous German Baedeker guides to Britain, going back to 1887, had recently acquired an English editor during the First World War. However, the scenes of bathers and the view over Ripon suggest it may just be a home movie. The Ripon Hornblower hasn’t missed a single night of blowing his horn at the Obelisk since Alfred the Great. The railway station is still standing, more or less, although it hasn’t seen a train since 1967.