A TLC Travel bus displaying "Happy Yorkshire Day!" on the destination blind on Yorkshire Day in 2018.
|Observed by||Residents of the county of Yorkshire|
|Significance||Anniversary of the Battle of Minden and the emancipation of slaves|
|Celebrations||Celebration and promotion of Yorkshire culture|
|Next time||1 August 2020|
|Related to||Lincolnshire Day; Minden Day; Oxfordshire Day; St Piran's Day; Sussex Day|
Yorkshire Day is celebrated on 1 August to promote the historic English county of Yorkshire.It was celebrated in 1975, by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, initially in Beverley, as "a 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.
The day was already celebrated by 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 headdress. 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, on 1 August each year which has been held in:
Saltburn, Guisborough and Saddleworth have also played host.
Similar events have been promoted by the Friends of Real Lancashire (27 November, since 1996) and the Huntingdonshire Society (25 April, since 2002) to promote their counties.
On Yorkshire Day, members of the society read a "Declaration of Integrity":
"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!"
In York the Declaration is made four times by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, once for each Riding and once for the City of York. The traditional boundaries of the Three Ridings run up to the ancient city walls, so by processing out of three of the bars (gatehouses) the Society can make the Declaration in each Riding, followed by reading the Declaration within a fourth bar inside the City.
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.
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
Yorkshire, formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region. The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration such as North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire.
Yorkshire and the Humber is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) for statistical purposes. It comprises most of Yorkshire, as well as North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. It does not include Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland or other areas of the historic county of Yorkshire, are not included in the aforementioned administrative areas. The largest settlements are Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull, and York. The population in 2011 was 5,284,000.
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