Sheep near Gaping Ghyll, Yorkshire Dales. © J. Ashley Nixon
Happy Yorkshire Day to all Yorkshire folk, Tykes abroad and offcumdens (those born outside the County), that love and connect with the Broad Acres.
Here are eleven things you can do to celebrate Yorkshire, its people and customs on its official recognition day, August 1.
1. Wear the white rose, the county emblem. Not to be confused with the red rose of Lancashire or the Wild Rose of Alberta, Canada where I now reside.
2. Make and eat some Yorkshire puddings….recipe is here, make sure the fat is hot and keep the oven door closed!
3. Have a celebratory drink of some good Yorkshire Ale. The best of the best to my mind and that of many Championship judges is Timothy Taylor’s.
4. Read some good Yorkshire literature. Maybe one from one o’ them Brontë sisters such as Wuthering Heights (Emily’s only novel published in 1847 and amongst the greatest novels of passion in the English language and based around the farms and moors of the West Riding).
5. If you are short of reading time, and in need of a laugh, watch some old Monty Python on YouTube. See Cathy and Heathcliff performing Wuthering Heights in semaphore or check out the Four Yorkshiremen sketch.
6. Listen to some music from Yorkshire…Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band playing the Floral Dance or summat like that is very traditional, or go more modern with a tune from Yorkshire artists such as The Arctic Monkeys (Sheffield area) or Kaiser Chiefs (Leeds area) or maybe Ed Sheeran, who was born in Halifax.
7. Sing a song! Top o’t list for Yorkshire Day is, of course, the anthem Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At. For a variation, check out Brian Blessed’s rap version.
8 . Go watch a rerun of a film like Brassed Off or The Full Monty for dark humour about the decline of the mining and steel industries in Yorkshire. The aforesaid Wuthering Heights or sister Charlotte’s Jane Eyre offer plenty of versions to choose from over the years. One of my own old favourites is The Railway Children, directed by Lionel Jeffries in 1970 and filmed in my home village, Haworth, and along the Keighley & Worth Valley Preservation Society railway line. Alternatively, a TV series (and film) like All Creatures Great and Small, which features VET’s on the North York Moors/Yorkshire Dales.
9. Back to some food ideas, you can’t go too wrong with a slice of Wensleydale cheese, just like Wallace and Grommit enjoy with their crackers, or do it my way, with a nice piece of apple pie.
10. Unless you are currently living in Yorkshire, in which case you can tick this one off, book a holiday to visit Yorkshire. Cycling is one way to get around if you’re keen and fit. The 2014 Tour de France (@letouryorkshire) ran its first two stages from and between Leeds, Harrogate, York and Sheffield, including through Haworth, where I was born and bred.
11. Take a look at Cobbled Together, a book of poems and photographs of Haworth, Yorkshire published by my mother and myself and available through Betula Books (please click on the button below to see).
Enjoy thissen and sithee!