Wednesday, 7 August 2013

On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at

"Every dog has its day" is a saying that is about as common in Yorkshire as the world famous "Things you see when you haven't got a gun." Yorkshire folk being well known for their benevolent nature have come up with the idea of "Yorkshire Day." The first day of August is now and forever more to be celebrated as a special day of remembrance. A day for reflecting upon flat hats, a time to let our minds wander to clog dancing and to remember to feed the whippet for a change. 

Not only that, but we have brought out of retirement that reminder of an age gone by. The Yorkshire hymn and anthem "On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at." If that wasn't enough, we have also rolled out the patron saint of Mexborough and the Inland Waterways "Brian Blessed" to sing it. He was joined by opera singer the Diva of Doncaster Lesley Garrett in recording an updated version of the traditional folk song to mark Yorkshire Day. The song, which translates as "On Ilkley Moor without a hat" is regarded as the county's anathema anthem. Well, when I say sing it, I meant a form of modern medieval gregorian chant in the new idiot idiom of crap rap music. Click Here

Yorkshire Day was created over a pint of bitter in 1975 by the 'Yorkshire Ridings Society a group of well known pigeon fanciers. The day was brought about after the abolition of the three traditional "ridings" in 1974. Towns and cities across Yorkshire hold a lottery each year so as not to hold their own celebrations. The loser this year was Skipton. So a Yorkshire themed celebration, which included a sandy beach and an oil drum band was held for four days in Skipton in North Yorkshire. 

Skipton is famous for being one of the first places that Hitler flew over in a bomber during the war. He looked down and said, someone has beaten us to it, turned round and went back home.

Now the more observant amongst you will know that Yorkshire is not part of the caribbean and that Skipton is as far from the coast as you can get on the Leeds Liverpool Canal. That Yorkshire day is only one day long. However, it was supported by the Canal and River Trust. 

Now this set me thinking, maybe we should have a "Canal Day" a time when we could look back and celebrate a national treasure. We could get CaRT to sponsor it. I can see it now. Themed to reflect the state of the canals in the 1950's. With broken paddles, filled with mud, leaking locks and filled with all kinds of rubbish. So there won't be a lot to do apart from remove the shopping trolleys. It could be timed to be held on the first Friday that falls on the 13th each year.

Yorkshire (non cricket) Declaration: "I, (your 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 1138 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!"


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