Today is the day we all show the fine county of Yorkshire a little love (if you need some encouragement, it’s the part of the country where Downton Abbey is fictionally located). It’s Yorkshire Day, a celebration that began as a protest movement against the local government reorganisation in 1974 and is now an opportunity for England’s largest county to ‘come together to indulge in vast quantities of regional pride’. Yorkshire Day is held annually on 1 August to commemorate the Battle of Minden in 1759 and the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire, which owes a lot to Yorkshire MP William Wilberforce.
Various events are held throughout Yorkshire, but the main one is the reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity, which affirms the county’s foundation in the 9th century. There’s also a gathering of all the Lord Mayors, Mayors, and Civic Heads throughout the county.
Apparently, the day has attracted criticism over the years, with one man from the Yorkshire Dialect Society complaining that it has become a ‘marketing jamboree, perpetuating stereotypes of whippets, black puddings, and flat caps.’ Personally, I think there are far worse things an area can be known for, since I love all three of those things. Also, I had no idea any of them were strongly associated with Yorkshire, so thanks for the info, YDS guy! I’m going to go cook up some black pudding now before settling down to a marathon showing of North and South.