Happy 1st August, otherwise known as Yorkshire Day.
Why Yorkshire Day?
Yorkshire is the largest region in England, centred on the county town of York, and was originally composed of three sections called ‘Thrydings’, or Ridings -North, East and West, which includes modern day South Yorkshire where I live.
When travelling and I am asked where I come from, I proudly say “Yorkshire, England”. Yorkshire folk are often stereotyped as being warm and friendly but ‘bloody minded’,or stubborn and argumentative, descriptions which those who know me would use for me!
Ten other characteristics of Yorkshire folk that I identify with are:
- Started a conversation with ‘now then’
- Winced at the price of something down south (like a pint… or a house)
- Owned a Yorkshire terrier
- Drinking ale or cider from a Yorkshire brewery
- Said ‘aye’ instead of yes, or said ‘ay up’ instead of hello
- Been able to sing the first line of ‘On Ilkley Moor b’ah tat’ but that’s about it
- Gone on a day trip to Whitby
- Gone on a school trip to Eureka
- Tried to make Yorkshire puddings, and had at least one batch that sank pitifully before nailing the perfect recipe – I think it’s all about the eggs – contact me for more details
- Celebrated Yorkshire Day
So Why the First Day of August?
August 1st was chosen as it has special significance in the County’s history. On this date in 1759, Yorkshire soldiers ensured a famous victory, displaying death defying bravery, during the battle of Minden in Germany.
The date also alludes to the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, had campaigned.
So if you are from Yorkshire, and even if you’re not, how will you celebrate Yorkshire Day this year?
Apart from the obvious of having Yorkshire puddings for my tea – with gravy, as a starter rather than with other food as my grandmother started me doing, I will be celebrating wearing one of my Yorkshire roses. There is a simple or double version:
fabric brooch – Yorkshire Roses
If you would like me to send you the tutorial for my Yorkshire Rose Brooch please contact me and I will email it to you.
The origin of the Yorkshire rose is said to have first been adopted by Edmund of Langley, the first Duke of York, in the 14th century. It represents the Virgin Mary who was often called the ‘Mystical Rose of Heaven’. During the War of the Roses the white rose was used as a symbol by supporters of the House of York. During the Battle of Minden in 1759, it is said that Yorkshire soldiers wore wild roses that they had plucked from the hedgerows as they advanced to engage the enemy. Other account say they wore them after the battle in honour of those in Yorkshire regiments who had fallen.
Yorkshires White Rose Flag was officially registered with the Flag Institute in 2007 and it can be flown without planning permission on any building. I came across this Yorkshire Flag Poem by Geoff Williams.
I wonder what the Yorkshire flag makes you think of?
All this said, because I’m from Sheffield in the extreem south of Yorkshire, I am also extreemly attached to the Peak District on my doorstep. I have been reflecting on what Sheffield means to me for a couple of textile art projects and the Peak District is certainly part of my love of Sheffield, as well as many Yorkshire landscapes further up north. My wool work often upcycles wool I have collected from barbed wire and bushes, when on walks in both Yorkshire and Derbyshire!
Here is a wool landscape I am working on at the moment
Some designs have sheep made from local wool in them:
If you would like more details on either purchasing my art work, or coming on a workshop then please contact me. Please note: non yorkshire folk are very welcome!
You can see some pictures from a recent felting workshop.
I am also proud to be a British baker, as well as a keen up-cycler. I make aprons from cast off jeans which can be found in my Etsy Shop.
I would love to hear your thoughts on Yorkshire Day.