In case you haven’t noticed, today (1st August) is Yorkshire Day. For those outside God’s Own County or for those who choose to reside beyond the shoreline of good old Blighty, then here’s a quick definition of what this annual celebration is all about courtesy of the i newspaper.
What is Yorkshire Day?
Yorkshire Day was first celebrated in 1975 by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, beginning as part of a protest movement against local government reforms that came into force in 1974.
“Yorkshire Day is a relatively recent tradition,” explains Dr Henry Irving, Senior Lecturer in Public History at Leeds Beckett University.
“It began as a defiant way to celebrate the county’s history and heritages. “Government changes abolished Yorkshire’s three traditional ‘Ridings’ and saw parts of the historic county transferred to Humberside and Lancashire.”
“Yorkshire Day is an opportunity to promote the county, send a defiant message to politicians in London and help boost the regional economy.
“Few people would now argue for a return to the historic Ridings, but the potential of devolution to metro mayors has increased the significance of local political identities.
“The day has a wider cultural value, as it gives the people of Yorkshire a chance to reflect on their heritage, and it’s a great opportunity to increase tourism and investment in Britain’s largest historic county.
“The fact that Yorkshire Day is still celebrated demonstrates the local pride and a particular Yorkshire ingenuity.”
For me, living in Yorkshire as I do, one of the great things about Yorkshire Folk, although to be fair, this also applies to many northern communities across Lancashire, Teesside, Co Durham excetera, is their often dry and somewhat dark sense of humour.
This is no better illustrated than by the old TV sketch from Hale & Pace (who are in fact Southerners) below. It predates the rise of Yorkshire’s own real-world airline Jet2 (who are based at Leeds/Bradford Airport) and illustrates our ability to laugh at ourselves.
I love it. Makes me giggle everytime I see it.
I’m just off t’put me “Yorkshires” int’ our lass’s oven, so I’ll see thee later!