5 June 2018

Yorkshire


Recently, the BBC News website has been exploring the notion of Englishness. It has also focused upon county loyalties, comparing how the residents of different counties feel about where they live. This was the main conclusion:-

Yorkshire, with its Viking origins and Norman design, inspires the deepest passions of all. 
Three quarters of people from York and the Ridings feel a strong allegiance to their county. Only
 one other county comes close to such levels of belonging - Yorkshire's great rival, Lancashire.

As the title of this blog suggests, I am a Yorkshireman. My father was born in the old North Riding of Yorkshire. my mother was born in the old West Riding and I myself was born in The East Riding of this ancient county. More than this, all of my grandparents and all of my great grandparents  were born in Yorkshire. They all lived here all their lives and they all died here.

When it comes to Yorkshire credentials, I am therefore more  thoroughbred than the cricketer Freddie Trueman, former prime minister Harold Wilson or actress Maureen Lipman. You simply cannot get more Yorkshire than me. Even my Viking surname was once unique to Yorkshire and was originally the name of a small agricultural settlement in Wensleydale.

Like most Yorkshiremen I am proud of my county for several different reasons:-

1) The varied beauty of our natural landscape. From the limestone pavements of Malham in the west to the chalk cliffs of Flamborough in the east. From the boggy uplands of The Dark Peak in the south to the famous  green Yorkshire Dales in the north.

2) History of hard work. When I think of Yorkshire folk I think of workers with their noses to the grindstone - farmers, fishermen, steel workers, engineers, textile workers. Much of Britain's nineteenth century economic power was forged here in Yorkshire though our people didn't always get the credit and financial benefits they deserved.

3) The Yorkshire character. We value common sense and plain speaking. We don't like snobs or pomposity. We say hello to strangers and we don't waste our hard-earned money. We can be blunt but we are loyal and true. We tend not to be loud and self-advertising and our sense of humour is often dry and understated.

4) The Arts. Yorkshire has produced countless renowned painters, writers, actors and musicians. From Emily Bronte to The Arctic Monkeys. From The Kaiser Chiefs to Ted Hughes and Damien Hirst, Andrew Marvell and John Atkinson Grimshaw, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Patrick Stewart, Roger Hargreaves and Joe Cocker, Barbara Hepworth and David Hockney. The list goes on and on.

5) Exploration and invention. In my mind the greatest Yorkshireman of all was the explorer Captain James Cook. He epitomised this Yorkshire characteristic seen also in the lives of the inventor of stainless steel - Harry Brearley, aviator Amy Johnson, horologist John Harrison and scientist Joseph Priestley but there are many others whose names and achievements might be cited here.

6) The Yorkshire pudding. Light and golden. Rising in the oven like Jesus after the crucifixion.

Yes it is nice to be a Yorkshireman and to inhabit a county that fills one's heart with pride. I have travelled the world seeking a better place than Yorkshire but I can confirm that no such place exists. For any readers who do not live here, please accept my sincere sympathies.

34 comments:

  1. A now very elderly man I have known all my life tells many stories of growing up in here in the area of Sydney that I now live and he has lived all of his life. He is more Sydney than the Opera House, born before the building of the Harbour Bridge but despite all of that, he is quick to identify as "Yorkshire", even having a Yorkshire Electricity toy on his kitchen window sill.
    As I read your description in #3, I recognise that he is, indeed, Yorkshire even though it is inherited.

    It's a good list of qualities and I'm glad you are proud of it

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    1. Next time you see him please say "Ey up, ah's that goin on t'owld lad?" and give him my fraternal regards from The Motherland.

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  2. I'm glad you are proud of your heritage; your county - your home, Yorkie. For anyone to feel otherwise about their home/county/state/country would be unimaginable, to my way of thinking.

    I am a very proud Queenslander, and an equally proud Aussie.

    How you feel about Yorkshire and being a "Yorkshireman", is similar to how I feel about my own state and country.

    I have no desire, never have had any desire, to live elsewhere. Australia is the lucky country. I am very lucky to be an Aussie, and am very fortunate to live in this country .

    Queensland...beautiful one day...perfect the next. :)

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    1. Many people are restless. If they would only look around themselves and learn to cherish what they have got. The grass is rarely greener on the other side.

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    2. Yeah...and it probably needs mowing!!!

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  3. What happens to us in-betweeners, who have arrived a few years ago, but love Yorkshire as well? I agree wholeheartedly that people in the street will stop and talk. I just love the history, the Scaninavian and Saxon that still can be traced in the churches and of course the village names. I suppose we can be honourary members and fly the flag as my partner often wishes to do ;)

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    1. There is no easy way of saying this Thelma. To qualify as Yorkshire woman you would need to have been born in the county to parents who were also born here. I am afraid there are no shortcuts or exceptions. Sorry for the grief that this message will no doubt cause you but thanks for dropping by all the same.

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  4. Gregg and I were watching something on YouTube the other day where two Brits were demonstrating different English accents, and when they got to Yorkshire I said, "Ohh!! That's where my friend Neil lives!" They described a Yorkshire accent as sounding like you're yawning as you speak. We were very interested to hear it!

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    1. Yawning as we speak? That is outrageous! I have never felt so insulted in my life. Besides there are various different Yorkshire accents. People from Sheffield sound very different from people from York or Hull or The Yorkshire Dales.

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  5. Joe Cocker one of the best...like all Yorkshires then! :)
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Last week I went for a pint of beer in the very pub that Joe Cocker drank in before he became famous. It's called "The Masons Arms".

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  6. Sincere sympathies accepted YP. Alas we can't all hail from Yorkshire - it would be somewhat overcrowded if we did !
    We'll just have to make do with our lesser origins - in my case Warwickshire !

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    1. Nowt wrong with Warwickshire... except it's not Yorkshire.

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  7. Tom's Father was born in Harrogate in Yorkshire, and his Mother was a cockney born within the sound of Bow Bells but he was born in Sussex. I wonder what that makes him?
    Briony
    x

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  8. I'm waiting for a witty reply, lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. Ay lass tha'll be waitin' till t'coos cum oam!
      Thy Tom's nobbut a mongrel but at least t'owd lad has a drop o'Yorkshire int veins.

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    2. You are getting too witty CG! Ever considered doing stand up? You could be the next Jo Brand!

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  9. I don't believe for one minute that you have travelled to so many places in order to find something better. Your heart always knows that there is no place better for you and yours. Just as I think my mountaintop is the best place in the world.

    (We do thank you immensely for allowing Joe to emigrate to Colorado, however!)

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    1. You are welcome. He stole a pork pie from a butcher's shop and must have been nervous about coming home.

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  10. I agree with all your points. Yorkshire is indeed a most wonderful county, as is Lancashire. I was born in Lancashire but am descended from Yorkshires finest from places like Haworth, Denholme,Thornton and Bolton by Bowland.
    I'm surprised you haven't quoted that fine, old Yorkshire saying....
    "Eat all, sup all, pay nowt. Hear all, see all, say nowt and if ever tha does owt fer nowt, do it fer thi sen."
    There may be a rivalry between our two counties but I have both white and red roses growing in my heart.

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    1. White and red roses growing in your heart? You should see a heart surgeon as soon as possible Christina!

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  11. How interesting to hear of your Yorkshire background. I do a bit of genealogy and all of my mother's ancestors come from Wakefield, Yorkshire. I've gotten as far back as the 1400s and they all lived in Wakefield. Apparently one wayward son decided to come to this country in the 1600s. He obviously did not realize what he was leaving! However, I will not begrudge him since I would not exist had he not come here.

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    1. Wakefield was once the county town (administrative capital) of The West Riding of Yorkshire. It is good to know that you have Yorkshire blood in your veins Bonnie!

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  12. Okay, I get it, you’re very proud of where you’re from. Texans must have Yorkshire roots. But you come across as quite chauvinistic (in the original sense of the word).

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    1. Chauvinistic? Thanks for the compliment Bob!

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  13. I married a Yorkshire woman. She has many of the characteristics that you list. I don't think any of her relatives before her father ever left the area. he still thinks of Yorkshire even though she left 65 years ago.

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    1. Tell the Micro Manager that it is not too late to come home. The Canadian adventure will be forgiven. She can stay at our house until we arrange the purchase of a nice apartment. You can come too.

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  14. You know how I feel about Yorkshire - I may have not a single drop of Yorkshire (or English, for that matter) blood in me, having been born and raised in Ludwigsburg, Germany, but my family and friendship ties through Steve keep Yorkshire firmly in my heart, and I feel as at home there as if I'd been living there all my life.

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    1. PS: You'd probably have no trouble placing my accent to within a few miles from Barnsley, even though these days I spend all my Yorkshire holidays in Ripon.

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    2. I can't imagine a sophisticated German woman speaking with an Elsecar accent. "Ey up Meike me owld fruit! Get pints in lass!"

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  15. You said that people should be content and that the grass is rarely greener on the other side but for those not born in Yorkshire or Lancashire sure that cannot be true. Our metaphorical grass is surely infinitely greener! You made the case yourself.

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    1. Once again you have cunningly caught me in my own trap Graham! Hoisted by my own bloody petard! Damn you devious Lancastrians! And here are a few more exclamation marks for good measure!!!!!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.