We’re very proud of a lot of things at Bradford, but today we’re especially proud to be situated in the greatest county of all; Yorkshire.
No one is prouder than our very own professional Yorkshireman, Patrick Dennehy, so we thought we’d let him set the record straight on why Yorkshire is the greatest.
“Tha can allus tell a Yorkshireman, they say, but tha can’t tell ‘I’m much”.
Well today, 1 August, Yorkshire folk will be telling the whole world, because it’s officially Yorkshire Day!
Yes, the county that’s full of shy, humble, reserved people repurposed an entire day in the calendar just to tell the rest of the world how great we are – as if they didn’t already know!
There isn’t a country that has a day all to itself, never mind a county. Then again Yorkshire is practically a country; at the last two Olympics it would have finished twelfth and fourteenth.
The West Riding alone, what we know as West Yorkshire, is England’s second largest county. Places like Middlesbrough are so enamoured with our greatness, they’re desperate to be classed as being in Yorkshire (but they’re not).
Even just knowing something is coming from Yorkshire makes people realise it’s going to be ace: the first album from Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys was the fastest-selling debut album in British music history.
Some of the greatest movie franchises of all time wouldn’t be what they are without Yorkshire folk. Judi Dench in James Bond, Sean Bean in Lord of The Rings, Michael Palin in Monty Python and of course, Brian Blessed in Star Wars!
Despite the fact that the county boasts 28 football teams, (ok, Middlesbrough, in you come), and more than 15 rugby league teams, it’s actually cricket that rules the roost in God’s own county.
Yorkshire have won the title an incredible 32 times. In that glorious summer of 2005, when the Australian cricket team were finally forced to hand over The Ashes, the English team was spearheaded, yes – you guessed it, by a Yorkshireman. Take a bow Mr Vaughan.
Yup, sport is pretty important to us Yorkies. It’s practically a religion. We even borrowed another country’s iconic sporting event – The Tour De France – and brought it all the way to Yorkshire. Simply because we can. We then decided we could do it better and created our own Tour.
The one incontrovertible fact, accepted even by people not from Yorkshire, is that tea is the greatest of all hot drinks. And the best tea is Yorkshire tea; a recent nationwide survey showed that 1 in 5 cups of tea drunk in the UK are Yorkshire Tea. (Of course, this only applies to people who don’t take sugar and put the milk in last).
There is, though, a serious side to the choice of 1 August as the day when the whole world dons its flat cap; that is the date of emancipation when the abolition of slavery act came in to force, way back in 1833. And there was Yorkshire again, leading the way – as it was Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, who was the spearhead of that great campaign.
MPs are, incidentally, something else we’re pretty good at in Yorkshire; Harold Wilson, whose statue can be found outside Huddersfield train station, even made it right to the top as Prime Minister between 1964 and 1970 and again between 1974 and 1976. During this time, he was also chancellor of the University of Bradford, a role he held until 1985.
Also, the bread based item that you make your butties out of, is a tea cake. Not to be confused with a fruit tea cake, which you wouldn’t want to put bacon, sausage, or fish in.
Lancastrians might disagree with this, but they won the War of The Roses so they can’t have everything. Similarly, that shortcut you take, that passageway between two places, is a ginnel. Call it a snicket if it makes you feel better, but it’s still a ginnel.
Yorkshire also has lots of hidden secrets, which it will relinquish, if only you know where to look. Does anywhere else, for example, have a graveyard for that most British thing – the red telephone box?
Or a cave that’s big enough to fit a whole cathedral inside? If that’s not your thing and you fancy your thrills with wheels on, then the bravest can take a trip on Europe’s longest rollercoaster (but you probably won’t be allowed to take your whippet with you).
Incidentally, we did something quite special with some of our students and a rollercoaster, take a look.
In essence it’s all here; so much to see and do that it’ll be Yorkshire Day 2019 before you’ve finished exploring this magical and wonderful county of ours, that we are more than happy to show off, so stop faffin’ and come on in.