Yorkshire Day

Yorkshire Day

Yorkshire Day is celebrated on 1 August to promote the historic English county of Yorkshire. It was first celebrated in 1975, by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, initially in Beverley, as "protest movement against the Local Government re-organisation of 1974". The date alludes to the Battle of Minden, and also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, had campaigned. ["Yorkshiremen want power in ridings". The Times. August 1, 1977.] ["Why the white rose is riding high". The Times. July 31, 1980.]

The day was already celebrated by the The Light Infantry, successors to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, as Minden Day. Together with five other infantry regiments of the British Army, a rose is permitted to be worn in the headress. In the case of the Light Infantry, the rose is white.

Amongst the celebrations there is a Civic gathering of Lord Mayors, Mayors, and other Civic Heads from across the county, convened by the Yorkshire Society, which has been held in :

*1998: Huddersfield "Grand day for the white rose county". The Times. August 1, 1998.]
*1999: Kingston upon Hull [Hull Daily Mail. July 29, 1999]
*2001: Wakefield [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1468541.stm Yorkshire pride has its day] BBC News. August 1, 2001.]
*2003: Halifax [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/3112757.stm White rose county has its day] BBC News. July 31, 2003.]
*2004: Leeds
*2005: Bradford [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/4732815.stm Yorkshire Day celebrations begin] BBC News. July 31, 2005.]
*2006: Penistone [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/south_yorkshire/5234646.stm County celebrates Yorkshire day] BBC News. August 1, 2006.]
*2007: Kingston upon Hull [ [http://www.wilberforce2007.com/index.php?/events_calendar/event/yorkshire_day/ Yorkshire Day celebrates traditional culture and heritage of our county] Wilberforce 2007: 1 August, 2007.]
*2008: Redcar [ [http://www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/PressRel.nsf/Published/AA4883A3443D277B80257292003ABA35?OpenDocument Yorkshire Day plans for Redcar and Cleveland] Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. March 2, 2007.]

Saltburn and Saddleworth have also played host.

Similar events have been promoted by the Friends of Real Lancashire (November 27, since 1996) and the Huntingdonshire Society (April 25, since 2002) to promote their causes.

Critical reaction

The day has attracted some criticism:

"Despite the serious underlying purpose and money-raising activities for charity, some Yorkshire people worry that it has become a media and marketing jamboree, perpetuating stereotypes of whippets, black puddings and flat caps. "We have to be careful not to overdo it, but regional distinctiveness adds colour. I'm against a grey uniformity spreading over everything, which is the way the world is going," says Arnold Kellett from the Yorkshire Dialect Society."Others have called it a 'Masonic Jamboree' because of its impressive list of council leaders and officials.

In its early years, the day was not widely acknowledged. A 1991 Times editorial read:"Today is Yorkshire Day. Not many people know that, as a very non-Yorkshire person likes to say, and probably not many Yorkshiremen either know or care. It is almost as artificial as Father's Day, which, as all thrifty northerners know, was created to sell more greetings cards." ["On terminal one baht 'at, but wi' gradely fish and chips; Yorkshire Day" The Times, August 1, 1991]


External links

* [http://www.yorkshire-ridings.org.uk/yorkshireday.htm Yorkshire Day]

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