Written by: Elmtree Press

August 1st will soon be with us and for proud Yorkshire men and women it is the official day to celebrate all things Yorkshire.  In 1975 with the controversial boundary changes the Yorkshire Society started marking the date more fervently with the procession of noble figures  and service in one of Yorkshire’s towns or cities each year and this has gained momentum over the years. Last year it was Ripon and this year to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Captain Cooks first arrival in New Zealand it is being held in Whitby where his ship The Endeavour departed from and where the excellent Captain Cook Museum is based, in the house that belonged to John Walker, Cook's master.

The day kicks off with breakfast at The Star Inn The Harbour and robing. Then after a church service at St Hilda’s Church, there will be a parade through the town of all the lord mayors, mayors and civic heads, a very fine gathering indeed. (No doubt they will have a good lunch to celebrate the proceedings prepared by the world famous chef, Andrew Penn at the Star Inn The Harbour)!

Yorkshire is not only the largest county in Britain but also the county that has the highest number of cities each will recognise the day with celebrations. There are nine cities in total; York, Leeds, Hull, Bradford Sheffield, Wakefield  and Ripon and York marks the day by the reading of the ‘Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity’ in Olde English, Latin, Norse as well as modern English.

So why August 1st and why is Yorkshire the only county that makes such a big deal of celebrating itself?  Well dig a little deeper and back in history to discover the day was first celebrated by the Light Infantry successors to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry as Minden Day. The date alludes to the Battle of Minden, 1759 during the seven years’ war Minden: an iconic victory on 1st August 1759 for the British “Minden” Regiments who advanced to battle with white roses in their hats, plucked from the hedgerows and repelled the attacks of French cavalry.  They still mark the occasion today by  wearing  a white rose in their headdress today.  

The date is also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire in 1834, for which a Yorkshire MP, William Wilberforce, had campaigned. He lived at Burton Agnes Hall near Driffield in East Yorkshire a beautiful house and garden well worth visiting.

So that is the history but what about the present and what is happening around the county this year to celebrate?  Some sceptics feel that it is just a big marketing jamboree but in the current climate of Brexit, the state of our political parties and the planet isn’t it a good opportunity to forget for one day the world’s troubles and enjoy the day?  It also helps to raise money for local charities, for example one key charity that benefits is the Yorkshire Air Ambulance a vital emergency service funded only by charitable donations and local events to support them are held throughout the county another celebrating the day with fundraising is the Yorkshire Cancer Research.  Here are some suggestions on how you can enjoy the day as well.

Black Sheep Brewery, Masham

From 12 pm they will be holding a BBQ using all local Yorkshire ingredients and of course local Yorkshire Beer and lager!  There will also be a free family treasure hunt, free samples of food from local producers including Rosebud PreservesMasham Gin and local Black Sheep Beer!

The Barn Guest House and  Tea Room, Hutton Le Hole

Are holding a WELLY WANGING competition in our garden on Thursday 1st August between 2- 4 pm. This is for children to come along and have a bit of fun and costs £1 a go with all proceeds going to Yorkshire Cancer Research and marks the start of a month of fundraising. Scarecrows will then be on display in the garden for the whole of August.

Exelby Green Dragon

Are celebrating the day with a free family fun day full of magic! Magic Matt will be here from 1pm with his award winning show and running circus skills workshops for kids. In the evening grown-ups can get involved and learn some close up magic with Magic Matt’s Masterclass - Tickets £15 - BOOK NOW!

On the 3rd August there will be a special meal to celebrate Yorkshire Day with an 3 course meal using locally sourced ingredients @ £25 pp.  Flat caps are optional although Tom the landlord, will be sure to be wearing his!

The Yorkshire Dales National Park are hosting a series of events to mark the day.  So check out their website for more information.