Friday, 3rd March saw the 34th Yorkshire Awards and Gala Dinner held in Leeds.
It was an emotion charged event with a special tribute to the late Harry Gration who has compered the Yorkshire Awards event for many years. Harry’s widow, Helen, attended with his son, Harrison, and collected the posthumous Lifetime Achievement award for Harry. Harrison, an accomplished young singer from the Royal College of Music then sang Stars from Les Misérables – the first song he every sang for his father – in a faultless and tear-jerking performance that resulted in a standing ovation.
The black-tie event this year was superbly compered by Christine Talbot and Duncan Wood and again comprised a sumptuous dinner and the presentation of Yorkshire’s most prestigious awards to a host of winners who have achieved great things and made Yorkshire proud. This included a Special Award for Dr Arthur France MBE, the man who created the Leeds Caribbean Carnival, and inspired the Notting Hill Carnival as a result. Dancers from the Leeds Carnival performed in full costume and added an amazing slash of both sound and colour. The full list of winners can be found here.
Ben Taylor (Yorkshire Prose) got this year’s event of to a great start with a heart-rending poem that brilliantly set the scene for the evening to follow. Milly Johnson, award winning author and Vice President of the Society, brought the house down with a hilarious monologue and poem about Tea – what could be more Yorkshire?
Thanks go to the main sponsor, Hilton, FBT Sport, Chadwick Lawrence, Leeds Beckett University, Aon Insurance and MOB Film who brought the event to life with some brilliant videos.
Feedback from the event has been all positive including: “The night was brilliant cannot wait for next years” – Deborah Bottomley, “Thought Friday was the best ever event” – Paul Carvis, “thank you so much for a brilliant evening” – Chris Mason (Man of the Year) and “thank you for a cracking night” – Milly Johnson.
The 35th Yorkshire Awards is already being planned and certainly has a lot to live up to. Thanks to everyone who attended, helped or supported this year’s awards including those great Yorkshire businesses donating prizes for the charity raffle and auction including Yorkshire Tea, Timothy Taylors, David Lloyd (Leeds), Rudding Park, Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds Rhinos, Real Yorkshire Tours, Seabrook Crisps, Regal Foods, Jet2 and ITV Yorkshire. Without all of them, it wouldn’t be the same.
For information about the Yorkshire Awards, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org