Today is Yorkshire Day - raise your flat caps in the air and let me hear you say ‘eyup!’
Urgh. Stereotypes - away!
In truth, quite a few people think Yorkshire Day is a bit pointless; a weak marketing event that serves only to help perpetuate those stereotypes of whippets, black puddings and flat caps. The fact is, if you’re not from Yorkshire, you’ve probably never even heard of Yorkshire Day. It’s not a day that inspires the costumes and celebration of St Patrick’s Day, nor the pageantry and patriotism of July 4’s Independence Day. It’s not like we all get together with our favourite ‘lads and lasses,’ white roses stuffed in our lapels, eat Yorkshire puddings and declare - in our broadest accent - what a chuffin’ great place this is to live. Most Yorkshire Days pass me by, and I’m just fine with that.
Sure there is the money raising activities that it inspires for charity, but I think we’ve already proved ourselves to be a pretty charitable region, without the accompanying marketing circus. Let me tell you, I’m Yorkshire born and bred, and I wasn’t altogether certain what a whippet was until I Googled it. I can’t stand black pudding, and don’t remember the last time I saw a gent in a flat cap. And while we’re at it, there are a few other myths that could do with dispelling: I’m not an idiot. Yes I may have a Yorkshire accent - I’ve grown up around it, there’s not much I can do - but it doesn’t make my IQ any lower that people born 100 miles further down-country. And, though I love a bargain as much as the next person, I’m not tight. We northerners have no trouble putting our hands in our pockets - but we’re pleased that our prices beat yours by a mile! We can get a pint for £3, as opposed to your £6 tipple. So sup on that.
And yes I do think Yorkshire Tea is better than any other brand (I’ve done extensive testing on this, and it’s true) and I never make spaghetti bolognese without a squirt of Hendo’s Relish...but that’s just good sense!
So do we really need a Yorkshire Day? Well...no, probably not. Though we do have plenty to shout loud and proud about: most of us can be deep in beautiful countryside greenery just ten minutes from our front doors (hellooo! The Peak District is our back garden!); we’re a friendly bunch and most of us are on a first-name basis with our neighbours (we even barbecue with ours); we can take credit (and we do!) for Jess Ennis, the Arctic Monkeys, the Bronte sisters, Sean Bean, Sir Patrick Stewart and Dame Judi Dench.
(Pause) Ah forget everything I just said - Happy Yorkshire Day everyone!