Why Yorkshire needs The Yorkshire Society

Yorkshire is a special part of Britain. No argument there!

If you love Yorkshire, that love is something you want to share – the sense of belonging, of community and connection. But “Being Yorkshire” is not about an accident of birth, ethnic or parental background, skin colour, or politics.

You can live elsewhere and still be Yorkshire and being Yorkshire is compatible with other heritages. So you can have any religion, any ethnicity or any other national heritage and still feel you belong to Yorkshire, and still take real pride in your Yorkshire identity because it’s where you come from, or where you live or work.

Being Yorkshire is about accepting and sharing a unique heritage, and taking pride in the wonderful landscape, natural beauty and wildlife God’s own Country has to offer. And in its architecture, history, music, art, folklore, and literature – aspects of England and being English but in a special and distinctive way, something that poets, writers, musicians, film makers, photographers and artists have captured in the past and will continue to interpret and be inspired by in the future.

This sense of place and belonging is equally important to people who feel they belong to the historic region of the three Ridings and York, including those in former areas of ‘ancient’ Yorkshire, that now find themselves within the boundaries of other administrations such as Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria and Cleveland.

Who is on the side of Yorkshire?

It has been pointed out that Yorkshire has approximately the same population as Scotland and a larger population than many sovereign states recognised by the United Nations, yet is part of one the most centralised countries in Europe, with most decision making concentrated in London’s Whitehall and Westminster.

What little embryonic Regional Government there was in England post-1974 was effectively abolished by the incoming Coalition Government of 2010, when the Committee for Yorkshire & Humber Region, one of nine Regions of England, was not reappointed. Followed by the abolition of the Government Office for the Region in 2012. As a result, Yorkshire & The Humber as a concept now only exists for statistical purposes.

Given the huge economic and social challenges posed, not just by Covid-19, but our imminent departure from the European Union, and the ever-present Climate Crisis, many people are now suggesting that only if more decision-making can be taken at a local level will communities living in the English regions be able to achieve a green recovery that creates jobs and protects the environment.

The true champions of Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Society, founded in 1980 to keep Yorkshire and ‘Yorkshireness’ alive in the face of any political change, is an independent not-for-profit organisation that is not connected to any political body, and is run by its members, supporters and volunteers for the greater good: ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It receives no public funds and believes that the time has come for everyone to work together to ensure Yorkshire’s future is as glorious as its past. Its aim and purpose therefore is to do what no other independent organisation can; bring the people of Yorkshire together, support Yorkshire’s economy and the businesses in it, promote Yorkshire’s sense of pride and community spirit and turn them into a productive force for the future – a future that is inclusive and where people from all backgrounds can benefit from being Yorkshire and have an equal voice in it.

So, The Yorkshire Society’s vision for the next forty years is to be:

  • The non-political organisation that brings together individuals and organisations who love Yorkshire and who share an interest in supporting communities and protecting the unique environment and cultural heritage of the region.
  • The organisation that celebrates all things worthy and distinctive about Yorkshire and encourages the promotion of all aspects of the region, whenever possible working with other bodies to do so, being prepared to innovate or support innovation where necessary.
  • The focal point for knowledge and understanding of the region’s rich natural and cultural heritage, working with academic institutions and individuals at every level to ensure that this knowledge is shared by future generations and also becomes an inspirational force to inform and shape creative ideas in the arts and sciences based on our shared identity.
  • The only independent organisation that represents the values and views of the people of Yorkshire and with the moral authority to speak on their behalf and guard Yorkshire’s good name.

Because, if we don’t do it for Yorkshire, who will?

If you share our vision and would like to hear more about our work or get involved, please register as a Supporter here.

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