See Ripon’s Royal Engineers display equipment and skills on Market Square
Last updated May 20, 2023
Ripon Royal Engineers Freedom Weekend

An impressive display of machinery and skills used by Ripon’s Royal Engineers in many parts of the world can be seen on Market Square until 3pm today.

Since 1949, the Engineers have had the Freedom of Ripon and the right to enter the city with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed.

Lance Corporal Craig Kerr (left) and Sapper Conner Bull, who have charge of this Terrier tractor, used in mine clearance and other tasks.

They will exercise that right tomorrow morning, when hundreds of members of 21 Engineer Regiment based at Claro Barracks will march through the city streets.

Bricklaying display

Ahead of this, today’s Freedom Weekend activities are designed to give members of the public a close-up view of equipment, engineering techniques and construction skills, such as bricklaying, concreting and plumbing, employed by the regiment, at many different locations.

In recent years, 21 Engineer Regiment’s main focus has been on support to UN peacekeeping operations and has included deployments to Afghanistan,  Cyprus, Poland, Somalia and South Sudan.

Gymnastics display

Among their key skills is bridge construction, dating back to World War II, when Engineers based in Ripon were involved in the development and installation of Bailey bridges, which played a crucial role in many theatres of war.

Today, people will be able to see displays showing how a medium girder over bridge – a modern-day successor the bridge invented by Donald Bailey – is constructed.

Attendees will also be able to see gymnastics displays, visit information stalls and meet with members of the Ripon Military Heritage Trust, whose aim is to protect priceless heritage assets at Ripon’s barracks site when it is redeveloped for housing.

Our main picture shows Lance Corporal Adam Smith (left) and Corporal John Rogers in front of a Mastiff Mk III armoured vehicle used for force protection.

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