The Association are pleased to announce that this year’s celebrations will take place on the village green on Saturday 29th October 2022.

At this year’s event, as in previous years, you will see our Huge Bonfire, Fantastic Firework Display, Mammoth Funfair, Refreshing Licenced Bar and many Delicious Food Concessions, so please put a note in your diary and join in what has become a Legendary night in the history of our village.

As you are aware the last two year’s celebrations were cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. In 2020 we had no choice in the cancellation, due to being in lockdown (again) and in 2021, whilst some events were starting to take place around the UK, the Committee made the difficult decision in cancelling the event, as it was felt that it would be wrong to proceed, with a potential 10,000 people coming into our small village, with no controls and at a time when we were still in a crisis, with many people still suffering and a Nation still wearing face masks and trying to social distance. Yes, a difficult decision but hopefully the responsible decision.

At the end of 2021 and with the National Inoculation programme under way the committee met once again, to look at the future of our village Bonfire Celebrations and following a unanimous decision it was agreed that we would start to put arrangements into place for 2022. It was also at this meeting that our long standing Chairman Vernon Wood and committee member Zelda Witten, decided to stand down after many years of devoted service.

With a new Chairman in place, who had previously been voted in by the committee, a presentation at the Cricket Club in early January of parting gifts was made to our outgoing committee members, with Vernon taking on the Honorary role of ‘Association Ambassador’ and Zelda the role of ‘Association Archivist’.

With the decision having been made to proceed with this year’s event the committee have been working extremely hard. One thing that has been identified is that the Pandemic has accelerated us (yes, even in Ripley) towards a cash-less society, for which, when you consider that as a free event our main source of income has always been the street collection, this could cause us a financial problem, especially as it seems every aspect of our expenditure from Fireworks to First Aid and Insurance to Toilets has risen considerably this year.

As a result of the need to ensure our street collection delivers the much needed funds, which are essential for the future of our annual celebrations, several of our committee met with the Ripley Rocks Committee, for which I am pleased to confirm we now have in place a joint initiative regarding portable card readers, which hopefully will benefit both groups. If anyone is interested in assisting with the street collection, either cash or card collection, please contact Peter Hookins, our Vice Chairman (peter@hookins.f9.co.uk), as any assistance on the night, short or long, would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, as Chairman, I would like to thank the new members that have recently joined the committee and ask if anyone else has a bit of time, large or small, either prior to the night with the building of the bonfire, or on the actual night, with essential marshalling or other duties, then please contact myself (stephenphill@btinternet.com). We are purely a voluntary organisation and many hands make light work.

See you all on Saturday 29th October, 2022 and let’s do what Ripley does best and enjoy ourselves.

Steve Hill
Chairman