Saturday, August 6, 2011

When Constabulary Duty's To Be Done

This Saturday morning we had a fun outing to Ripon to see the cathedral, do some geocaching, and see whatever else struck our fancy (e.g., Jacob would surely want to go potty somewhere). The cathedral is a whole posting by itself, which I will do later.

We started our morning with a geocache just outside the Prison and Police Museum of Ripon. My wife looked in the right spot but didn't see it. I did see it, probably because I wasn't afraid of the spider web. They should probably up the difficulty rating.

We found the cache just before 10 a.m. and noticed a police call box inside.

This gate won't stop me!!

Desiring to check it out, Jacob thought about picking the lock, which seems especially inappropriate for a prison museum. He is an evil genius turning his parents into zombies, so I suppose lock picking skills would come in handy.

If only I had a sonic screwdriver like Doctor Who, this would be really easy!

He didn't need to exercise his skills. A guy soon walked up and said that he was opening up the museum right now. We could come in and look around. The newly opened courtyard had plenty of free stuff to look at. Since we wanted to see the cathedral, we did not pay to go into the museum on this trip, but will definitely go in on a future trip. We checked to see if we could get inside the police call box. Low and behold, it is the Doctor's Tardis!!

Jacob hams it up as the next Doctor Who!

Why not a Lady Doctor?

Why not a Zombie Doctor!

The only drawback to seeing this was Jacob's nervous questions about meeting a doctor. We tried to explain the difference between a medical doctor and The Doctor (a common confusion for people who haven't seen the show and for Earthling characters in the show just meeting him), but were not too successful. He'll need to see some episodes of Doctor Who someday once he is old enough.

We found some other cool stuff in the museum courtyard, too. Check out the stocks:

Me and my big head are always getting into trouble.

That collar-looking thing is a punitive device worn around the neck called a jougs. The sign says "Confinement in Jougs--a hinged and lockable iron collar attached to a church wall--was a common punishment for ecclesiastical offenses such as Sabbath breaking, blasphemy, drunkenness and adultery. They were mainly used in Scotland but there was one on a church in Bridlington." [Editor's note: Bridlington is a town on the east coast of England]

The building itself goes back to the 1600s when it was built as a gaol [Editor's note: that's a jail for the American readers]. It was closed during a reform of the correctional system in the late 1800s and turned into a police office. Later, the police moved to a different building in town and the property was turned into the current museum.

Signs--I especially like the middle one!

The visit reminded me of a favorite song from The Pirates of Penzance, here's a snippet:

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