Yes, the 1st of August is Yorkshire Day!
So where did it come from? It was started 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.
A central tradition of Yorkshire Day is the reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity, which affirms Yorkshire’s ancient foundation in 875AD (as the Kingdom of Jorvik by the Viking chief Halfdan Ragnarsson) and asserts the inviolability of its ancient boundaries:
“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][note 1] 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.
This year’s official Yorkshire Day (1st August) celebrations will be taking place in the south of the county, in Sheffield.
There will be a breakfast reception in the Council Chamber at the Town Hall before the parade forms up and departs to reach the Yorkshire Day service at Sheffield Cathedral for 11am. After travelling back to the Town Hall a menu will be served with amazing Yorkshire produce to commemorate the occasion.
One of these celebrations will be at Wentbridge House
There are a whole host of things to do including seeing sheepdog and birds of prey displays, having a look at some classic cars or taking in some ‘Yorkshire sports’ such as flat cap flinging and welly wanging.
Famous attendees will include cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott OBE, Doncaster’s own ‘The Pensionalities’; who were most recently seen on Britain’s Got Talent and there will also be a book signing by Julian Norton, The Yorkshire Vet.
Tickets are £3 for adults and £2 for children.
More options and information available at https://www.yorkshire.com/inspiration/features/yorkshire-day