A lovely cup of tea!
Nah then. Tuesday 1st August is Yorkshire Day, tha nos!
Whilst chiefly, and quite rightly, renowned for us Yorkshire Puddings, cloth caps, clogs and ferrets, our county has a bit more to offer than songs about Ilkley Moor, baht ‘at or otherwise. The Tour de Yorkshire, for example, pulled in crowds of 2.2 million this year alone, doing a fine job of marketing the county along the way.
In fairness, we would have called it “Tut Tour”, dispensing altogether with the troublesome ‘de’. However, Yorkshire Day does provide an excuse to muse over the exact meaning of Yorkshire.
Bridlington bears no resemblance to Rotherham
Yorkshire is a vast county, stretching from the slag-heaps and struggling ex-steel towns in the South, to the North Yorkshire Moors and the playful seaside resorts of Scarborough, Whitby and Bridlington, on the East Coast Riviera. Aristocratic spa town Harrogate has little in common with Scargill’s Barnsley, while Bridlington bears no resemblance to Rotherham.
Some brave souls still man the last few trawlers leaving Grimsby to scour the North Sea for ever scarcer catches, whilst shoals of white collar workers commute in comfort to the call centres in cosmopolitan Leeds. Lonely mill chimneys stand as tombstones for the textile industry of West Yorkshire, where the skills of generations are distilled into just a few luxurious lines of wonderful worsted for the well-heeled.
Yorkshire folk are insular and outward looking, parsimonious and generous, kind and contrary. It is a county of music, museums and monuments to industrial decline, home to the plain-speaking and poet laureates. Diverse, inclusive, multicultural and partisan, Yorkshire is a county of contradictions and curmudgeons. And it teks one to know one!
The Yorkshire Day celebration
The Yorkshire Day celebration, as it stands today, was started by the Yorkshire Riding Society in 1975, and coincides with some important dates in the county’s history. These include the Battle of Minden in 1759, and the freeing of British Empire slaves in 1834. Campaigned for by Yorkshire MP William Wilberforce, we might add.
Halifax is home to the official festivities this year, but there are a whole host of events and activities taking place throughout the county. From horse racing in Ripon, to brass bands in Sheffield, to specialist crafts in Barnsley. There are competitions, traditional markets, and Scarborough is even holding a workshop on making a proper Yorkshire cup of tea. Lovely.
And here’s a handy guide to Yorkshire speak for us southern clients…