Yorkshire – God’s own county
Hi, I’m Melissa from the European Product team and I will be doing my first blog on the area of the UK that I am from – Yorkshire – God’s own County.
Location – For those of you not familiar with the geography of Great Britain, Yorkshire is the largest
County of England covering approximately 7,500 sq miles.
Geography – My home county has something to offer everyone who visits:
Countryside – considered to be the greenest area of England and receiving some 8m visitors per year Yorkshire boasts 3 National Parks; The North Yorkshire Moors, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District
- Sea – With 80 miles of coast and some of the cleanest beaches in the UK. Key coastal towns to visit are Scarborough (where you can get the best Fish n Chips in the world!), Bridlington or Whitby (home of Dracula).
- Cities – York is the oldest city in the UK and dates back almost 2000 years. Leeds is the 2nd financial city in the UK with such names as KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Asda all having offices there. Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield and Bradford all played major roles in the industrial revolution. Hull is a major UK port.
- History – With records that date back to Roman times we know that York (Eboracum) was the 2nd capital of Roman Britain after London (Londinium). It was also an independent Viking Kingdom (Jorvik) for about 1 century before being taken over by England. Yorkshire first appeared in writing in 1065. More recent history has seen Yorkshire at the forefront of the industrial revolution with main industries being in coal, textiles and steel.
- Culture – Yorkshire folk are very proud of their county, history, language and culture. Yorkshire Day is celebrated on 1st August.
- Language – Don’t be concerned that you need to learn a new language if you visit Yorkshire! Broad Yorkshire or Tyke as the dialect is known is not so widely used nowadays, but there are certainly many words that we still regularly use. A good one for you all when someone just will not be quiet is “shut ya cake’ole” which in the Queens English is “Please be quiet”
- Population – the population of Yorkshire is approximately 6 million, which is 10% of the total UK population. We have a larger population than Wales and the Republic of Ireland, the Scandinavian countries, Uruguay, New Zealand and over 35 US states. We are a similar size to Indiana and about 1million people smaller than Israel.
- Food – there are a number of culinary delights originating from Yorkshire to temp your taste buds, be it sweet or savoury including:
Yorkshire Pudding to go with your Sunday roast dinner
- Curd tart (pastry case filled with a sweet lemon preserve)
- Wensleydale cheese (made famous by Wallace & Gromit)
- Beer – Tadcaster is home to John Smiths, a traditional British beer (ale). You can buy a pint in a local pub for £1.80
- Chocolate…OK, we cannot take credit for inventing this fab snack, but chocolate factories such as Rowntrees, Terry’s, Thorntons started in York and many of Britain favourite sweets were created here.
- Famous people – To list but a few: Robin Hood (was born in South Yorkshire and not Nottingham contrary to popular belief), Guy Fawkes (who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament, hence our celebration of Bonfire Night on 5th November), Captain James Cook, the Bronte sisters (famous for writing Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights), William Wilberforce (politician who abolished slavery in the UK), Dame Judi Dench (actress) and Michael Palin (actor/ writer). Need I forget Kings Edward IV, V, Richard III and Henry VII!
- Sport – Sport plays a large part in Yorkshire life – the most popular being football (soccer), cricket, rugby and boxing.
- Officially recognized as the birthplace of football by FIFA. Sheffield UFC is the oldest club in the world. Famous players such as Gordon Banks and Kevin Keegan are both Yorkshiremen.
- Yorkshire cricket club is the most successful in the country having won 30 championships. Famous names include Len Hutton, Geoff Boycott (who went to school with my grandmother!) and the well-known umpire Dicky Bird.
To separate themselves from middle-class English players, Yorkshire rugby teams created rugby league in 1906. Popular teams such as Hull FC, Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos have a huge following.
- Boxing has always been a popular sport within Yorkshire and in more recent times we have seen world champions such as Naseem Ahmed and Amir Khan.
- Music – we have seen some great bands come out of Yorkshire including the post-punk era Sisters of Mercy and The Cult to the New Romantics Human League, Soft cell and New Model Army. More recently we have seen Pulp (Sheffield), Kaiser Chiefs (Leeds) and the Arctic Monkeys (Sheffield).
- TV/ Film – Yorkshire has set the scene for many soap operas such as Last of the Summer Wine (the UK’s longest running comedy series which started in 1973), Emmerdale and Heartbeat. Famous movies filmed in Yorkshire include the Full Monty, Harry Potter, Little Voice and Dracula.
So don’t forget – there is more to England than just London!