Ee bah gum it’s Yorkshire Day. As an Hull lad born and bred this momentous occasion will be celebrated in traditional style with a mug of Yorkshire tea, a dish of Yorkshire puds with gravy and a nostalgic flick through Wisden to laud the 32 county championships won by the cricketers of Gods own county.
Actually, I don’t drink tea, think Yorkshire puddings are bland and the cricket team are having a season to forget.
But, still, it is August 1st and the day to officially celebrate all that is great about the White Rose County.
Why is August 1st Yorkshire Day?
Good question and one I admit I didn’t know the answer to. However, a quick search on Google revealed all.
It all dates back to this day in 1759 when the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, wearing white roses on their hats, vanquished the Frenchies at the Battle of Minden.
Despite the historical connection Yorkshire Day didn’t really become a thing until 1975 when it was first held as a protest against the local government reorganisation which foisted the abomination of Humberside on all us Hull and East Yorkshire folk.
Since 1975 the event has grown and is celebrated throughout the county with events being held in villages, towns and all the major cities of Leeds, York, Sheffield and Hull.
The Declaration of Integrity
One of the more quirky events is held in York. Every year the ancient Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity is read in modern and old English, Latin and Norse – just to cover all the bases.
The declaration goes back to 875 (we are a proud and ancient people up here) and lays out the boundaries of the ridings – East, West, North and the Ainsty of York.
If you’re thinking you may have heard of the South Riding that is a novel by Winifred Holtby and not an actual part of Yorkshire. Anyway, back to the declaration.
If you want to join in the fun and become Yorkshire for a day repeat after me……
“I, [Name], being a resident of the [West/North/East] Riding of Yorkshire [or City of York] declare:
That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of [Current Year minus 875]* years standing; That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire; That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women; That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.
These declarations made this Yorkshire Day [Year]. God Save the Queen”
*1142 if your mental arithmetic is a little rusty.
Happy Yorkshire Day 🙂