Meet the team – Tim Flanagan, Ripon’s senior journalist
Last updated Mar 13, 2024

For the next few weeks, we’re introducing you to the team behind The Stray Ferret.

This time, we’re featuring Tim Flanagan, Ripon’s senior journalist.

With nearly two decades worth of experience covering news across the North Yorkshire region, Tim certainly is no stranger to breaking an exclusive story or two. 

His career began in 1977 at Ackrill Newspapers Group, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become chief reporter at the Harrogate Advertiser.  

Despite his patch always having covered Ripon, Harrogate and the surrounding areas, journalism has taken Tim to some unexpected places, in pursuit of stories. 

He said:

“In February 1983 I flew to the Falkland Islands and wrote a series of articles about the post-war rebuilding of runways and infrastructure being carried out by Ripon’s Royal Engineers.” 

After working for a time in public relations and corporate communications, he returned to reporting news when he joined The Stray Ferret in 2020 as a senior journalist.  

Primarily covering Ripon, Tim often jokes that he’s ‘the ferret on the ground’, utilising his knowledge as a resident to report on the pressing issues that matter to local people. 

He explained:

“I write stories in a fair and balanced way, covering all sides of an argument. This is important because the people I am writing about know me and I regularly see them while news gathering in the city.

I am extremely fortunate to be the Ripon reporter in a city that punches above its weight in terms of news.”

 With a passion for community-led stories, he’s previously explored the changing nature of the high street and extensively covered every update surrounding the controversial Ripon Cathedral annexe development. 

Tim has extensively covered Ripon Cathedral annexe developments

While working for The Stray Ferret, he hasn’t had to make any more work trips abroad – but he’s still covered some international stories that have unlikely connections to North Yorkshire. 

Tim said:

“I was told by a very reliable contact that Lewis Edwards a Ripon man and former student of Ripon Grammar School was fleeing Kyiv with his partner Tanya and a group of friends and driving hundreds of miles to the safety of Slovakia.

“The first story I wrote was published on February 28 – four days after the invasion started – and I spoke with him to write real-time stories about the hazardous journey to the Slovakia border.

“What made this coverage even stronger, was the fact that Lewis’s family in Ripon set up a GoFundMe page that raised over £20,000 in donations used to pay for a humanitarian shelter set up at the Slovakia border to help fellow refugees following on behind them to find safety.”

 As one of the first journalists hired when The Stray Ferret was launched, Tim is particularly proud to be a part of the publication’s growth and development. 

He also expressed how much he likes working with the team, especially with the younger members so he can share his tips and tricks – although according to him, that’s ‘most of the other writers’.  

 He’s a lifelong resident of Yorkshire, and previously lived for 39 years in Harrogate, making him a passionate advocate for the area – indeed, he believes that Ripon has ‘some of the finest walks you will find anywhere’.  

Discussing how he spends his free time, Tim added:  

Apart from walking with my wife, visiting Fountains and Studley Royal, spending time with the grandchildren and enjoying music dating back to the 1970s, I write poetry and have had poems selected for publication in the last three editions of the Ripon Poetry Festival anthology.”

If you think you’ve got a story that might be of interest to Tim, you can email him at [email protected]