YORKSHIRE DAY is celebrated on 1st August each year to celebrate the integrity of the traditional county of Yorkshire. Hedon has had the privilege of hosting the key East Riding Yorkshire Day event in 2010!
Why 1st August? On 1 August, 1759, British troops and their allies defeated the French at the battle of Minden. After the battle, the British soldiers picked white roses and wore them as a tribute to their fallen comrades. Since that day, a number of Yorkshire-based regiments have worn white roses on 1 August to commemorate the events of 1759 and all those from Yorkshire who have fallen in battle since.
What do we mean by Yorkshire? In 1974, Yorkshire underwent a number of administrative changes, which meant that its traditional boundaries established for over 1100 years were redrawn.
However, the act which created the new administrative areas stated clearly that the existing county boundaries were unchanged by the legislation. The boundaries of our traditional counties, the three ridings of North, West and East Riding, have never changed.
Since 1975, people have been invited to celebrate Yorkshire Day at community and civic events.
The first Yorkshire Days in the East Riding during the 70’s were probably held as a protest movement against the decision to change this area of Yorkshire into the then new – but now abolished – county of Humberside.
So what happens at Yorkshire Day? Yorkshire Day is largely a fun event, celebration and opportunity to raise money for good causes, although it still serves to commemorate those who have fallen in battle.
The Yorkshire ‘Declaration of Integrity’ is also recited at the four Bars (Gates) of York and in each of the Ridings. The readings from the three Ridings should be made facing in the direction of York, the ancient capital of the county.
The declaration commences at the time that coincides with the number of years since the first recorded reference to the three Ridings of Yorkshire in the year 876. Example: 2011 – 876 = 1135 so in 2011 the declaration is read at 11.35am:
I, (name), being a resident of the [West/North/East] Riding of Yorkshire [or City of York] declare: That Yorkshire is three Ridings and the City of York, with these Boundaries of [Time as a year e.g. 1135] years standing; That the address of all places in these Ridings is Yorkshire; That all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women; That any person or corporate body which deliberately ignores or denies the aforementioned shall forfeit all claim to Yorkshire status.These declarations made this Yorkshire Day [year]. God Save the Queen!”
The East Riding of Yorkshire Flag can be flown from public buildings but apparently should show the Rose with a sepal at the top and not the petal. A petal at the top signifies the other two ridings!
Above all Yorkshire Day can serve to remind us of, and have pride in, our local heritage.
See Yorkshire Day in Hedon for more information about the 2010 event in town.