yorkshire day

Happy Yorkshire Day!

This is a watercolour and graphite drawing by Thomas Girtin (1775–1802) of the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, near Leeds. 

Thomas Girtin was a friend and rival of JMW Turner, for whom he once worked. On Girtin’s early death Turner is said to have remarked, “Had Tom Girtin lived I should have starved”.


March 11th 1864: The Great Sheffield Flood

On this day in 1864, the Dale Dyke Dam in Sheffield broke, causing one of the largest floods in English history. 650 million gallons of water swept down Loxley Valley and through areas of Sheffield. The flood destroyed 800 homes and killed around 293 people, thus making it the largest man-made disaster to befall England, and one of the deadliest floods in history. Individual stories from the disaster are particularly tragic. For example, Joseph Dawson found the currents too strong and was unable to save both his wife and two day old baby boy - the Dawsons’ unnamed child became the first victim of the floods. The destruction afterwards led one observer to remark that Sheffield was “looking like a battlefield.” While this tragedy is often forgotten in English history, many Sheffielders take this day to remember what once happened to their city.

37 Things that make Yorkshire the greatest place on Earth

What better way to celebrate Yorkshire Day than to make a list about God’s County:-

1.  We love a good debate

No matter how long or short it might be.

2.  We love to have a moan every now and again

Doncaster’s Jeremy Clarkson has a common characteristic of people from Yorkshire.

3.  But overall we’re a friendly bunch of people

We think it’s rude if you don’t say hello and goodbye to complete strangers in the street.

4.  We have our own language

The letter ‘T’ is normally added to every word and we like to be more efficient with our use of language by missing words out of our sentences.

5.  And our own tea

You just can’t beat a proper brew of Yorkshire Tea.

6.  And we made Sunday Lunch even more amazing

Yorkshire Puddings are the show-stoppers to every Sunday lunch.

7.  We won more gold medals than Brazil at London 2012

The 2016 hosts didn’t stand a chance against our competitive streak.

8.  And we’ve got the best county cricket team in the country


9.  We’ve got The Bronte’s 

Haworth’s Bronte sisters were the cornerstone of Victorian literature.

10.  And the Brownlee’s

Bike, swim and run - the Brownlee brothers have owned the most gruelling form of athletics all over the world.

11.  And Bean

If you need a Yorkshireman a little rough around the edges to play a part then look no further than Sheffield’s Sean Bean.  Let’s hope he doesn’t get killed off in his next role.

12.  Huddersfield is officially grander than Paris 

The town of Huddersfield has more listed buildings per square metre than the famous city of Paris.

13.  But a 15 minute drive from any city centre and you are in rolling countryside

With so much green on our doorstep you can understand why were such a happy bunch.

14.  It’s so great around here we have even got our own dog breed

Active, curious and love attention - Yorkshire Terriers are very similar to their Yorkshire companions.

15.  When it rains, it proper rains

When it rains, it rains cats and dogs.

16.  But we love spending time in the garden

Ilkley’s Alan Titchmarsh typifies how most Yorkshire folk enjoy the sun on their back and their hands in the dirt.

17.  We fight for equality

Without Hull’s William Wilberforce Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela wouldn’t have been able to achieve what they did with racial equality.  Wilberforce was a social activist who spent twenty six years to pass the Slavery Abolition Act through British Parliament, which abolished slavery across most of the British Empire.  He died three days after the act had being passed but left a resounding legacy.

18.  Cos we love keeping company

Whippets, ferrets, pigeons or kestrels we love to be in the company of our furry or feathered friends.

19.  And enjoying some of the finest Ales known to man

Rumour has it that The Wars of the Roses started because the Longnecks of Lancashire tried to steal Tetley’s secret beer recipe.

20.  We’ve got a knack for politics

Harold Wilson. Herbert Asquith and Roy Hattersley to name a few - we love to get involved in a political debate.

21.  We love adventure

Sheffield’s Helen Sharman was the first Briton in space and the first woman to visit the MIR space station in 1989.

22.  And discovery

Marton’s Captain James Cook was the first European to discover Hawaii and Australia.

23.  So much so that one of our folk even discovered oxygen

Hailing from Birstall, chemist Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen in 1774 and invented soda water.

24.  We’re amazingly inventive

Son of Halifax, Percy Shaw, invented the cats eye for improving road safety in the dark.  Ironically he stumbled upon the idea while driving home from the pub in the dark.

25.  And one of us made some reet nice furniture

Otley’s Thomas Chippendale was a cabinet maker that set the tone for English Rococo design around the world.

26.  While some of us are pretty decent Thespians

Sir Ben Kingsley, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Patrick Stewart all hail from Yorkshire and have gone on to join the knights of the realm for their services to the performing arts.

27.  We serve proper portions of Fish and Chips

We don’t do things by half.

28.  We created Rugby for the working man

The George Hotel in Huddersfield was the birthplace of Rugby League when the RFU refused to compensate players for time off work to play rugby.  Most northern teams were full of working class players and a little too successful for their southern counterparts.

29.  And we’ve made some decent music

Batley’s Robert Palmer went onto world recognition for his music making and gave the Back to the Future soundtrack a distinctive beat.

30.  We make the best Pork Pies in the world

Andrew Jones Pies is just one of many local pie-makers that have got a list of awards longer than their arms.

31.  And the best curries

A trip to Yorkshire wouldn’t be complete without visiting the famous Akbar’s in Bradford for a ‘Ruby’.

32.  One of our lot had a night named after him

Not quite a club night in Ibiza but a national night named after a mischievous little bugger from York, Guy Fawlkes.

33.  And another one taught us how to fly

Considered one the most important people in aeronautical engineering, Scarborough’s Sir George Cayley designed the first manned glider and is commonly called 'the Daddy of Aerodynamics’.

35.  We can’t always count

35.  But we have a greeeaattt sense of humour

Ernie Wise, Michael Palin, Adrian Edmondson, Leigh Francis…..the list goes on.  Basically we like to a have a giggle.

36.  We know how to throw a good party

Sheffield’s Lord Sebastian Coe organised the most spectacular Olympic opening ceremony the world has ever seen.

37.  And we don’t mind boasting about it all every now and again 

If we’re good at something we don’t mind letting other folk know about it.

Ee bah gum! It’s Yorkshire Day! Loads of people have been saying they know nowt about it (and many don’t care - to you I say “shut yeh gob and gu back ‘darn sarf’!”) so I did some google-ing;

It marks the Battle of Minden of 1759, where, on passing some German gardens full of roses, the soldiers plucked some out and wore them. The Yorkshire men wore - you guessed it - white roses.

The day was adopted as 'Yorkshire Day’ to mark the heroism of the Yorkshire men who fought the French in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. (It’s known to the other regiments involved as 'Minden Day’).

Yorkshire Day was first celebrated in 1975 in protest against the government getting rid of the three councils in the three “ridings” of Yorkshire (West, North and East) in the local government re-organisation of 1974.

These were incorporated later into parts of North, South and West Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, which was brought back in 1996.