Everything you need
to know about us.


The Yorkshire Society is a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates and promotes Yorkshire; its economy, history, heritage, beauty and unique culture. It is now the established champion of ‘God’s own County’ locally, nationally and internationally with affiliated organisations around the world.

Non-political and charitable by nature, the Society brings the people of Yorkshire and those with an interest in it together, for business and pleasure, raising funds to help and support initiatives, individuals, communities and businesses throughout the county.

Under the presidency of Lord St Oswald and with an executive board supported by an advisory council, The Yorkshire Society is now a Private Limited Company, limited by guarantee and registered at Companies House No. 11108399.

Yorkshire by Numbers.

Some interesting facts and figures,
here’s an infographic to put Yorkshire into perspective.

Click to view

Thank you to bronco.co.uk


The history of Yorkshire Societies is long. Many have been established over time and mostly for those living outside the county as a means of maintaining some connection with it.

The first general meeting of the ‘Gentlemen and others in and near London who were born within the County of York’ took place at Bow Church on 3rd December 1678 and by 1812 another Yorkshire Society was running a school for boys and girls in London of Yorkshire parentage.

In 1891, the Society of Yorkshire-men in London was founded. It lasted for some 80 years, flourishing in the 1920s and 30s and boasting King George V and the then future King, the Duke of York as patrons.

Our Yorkshire Society, THE Yorkshire Society, which was founded in 1980, is almost certainly the first and only one ever to be based in the County itself. It was started as a non-political, not for profit organisation to encourage businesses, charities and individual people from or living in all parts of Yorkshire to join in “promoting the county”.


The Yorkshire Society is proud to have HRH The Duke of York as its patron.

The Duke of York is a peerage of the United Kingdom dating back to the 15th century. It has, when granted, usually been given to the second son of English (later British) monarchs.

The current Duke of York is Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Yorkshire Society is a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates and promotes Yorkshire its economy, history, heritage, beauty and unique culture.


Sir Rodney Walker


Sir Rodney brings to the Society a vast amount of experience gained over a long and illustrious career in business, sport and community service, during which he has lead campaigns raising more than £40 million for charities and good causes. The worthy recipient of many accolades, in 1996 the honour of Knight Bachelor was conferred upon him by the Queen for his services to sport.

Philip Bell

Chief Executive

Philip was born in Leeds and has a professional background in marketing and business management. After spending nearly 20 years working in senior management as an ex-pat he returned to his native Yorkshire in 2012. Now a successful consultant specialising in marketing and international business, he is also the founder and CEO of UK International Trade Service.

Geoff Walsh

Deputy Chair

A proud Pomfretian, born in Cheshire, but with family history in the West Riding, Geoff came to Yorkshire in 1995, loved it and stayed. His background is in Commercial Management both in the UK and abroad with a focus on business growth, people performance, economic development and international trade. He has been a member of The Yorkshire Society since 2003 and is keen to see it go from strength to strength.

Linda Atkins

Events Director

Linda was born in the West Riding. On leaving school she joined the RAF and, after a break to have her three daughters, she returned to work in NHS Admin. Now retired, she is a fundraiser for Tiny Tickers, a children's heart charity, a volunteer mentor at her local High School and, for the past four years, Events Director for The Yorkshire Society.

Your County needs you

Volunteers needed

If you would like to help us manage and run the Yorkshire Society,
Please get in touch.