Happy Yorkshire Day

Whether they’re bah t’at, or wi’ t’at, I’d like to wish my fellow Tykes a Happy Yorkshire Day.

For the uninitiated who’re maybe thinking “What are these strange expressions ba’ t’at ,or wi’ t’at, of which you speak, Gary?”, they’re references to lyrics within the unofficial Yorkshire anthem On Ilkley Moor Bah T’at. The singer informing the listener he’s without a hat (bah t’at) as he strolls the steep moor of the town dissected by the A65 carriageway.

Incidentally, I cannot say with certainty the road dissecting Ilkley was labelled the A65 at the time the iconic Tyke refrain was penned (or quilled). From memory, there’s certainly no clue in the lyrics as to the naming convention employed for the road at that juncture, or indeed reference to the road itself.

That being said, the absence of “Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee stroll the A65” within the song bears little, if any, relevance to this blog’s objective. I’m here to wax lyrical about the splendours of God’s Own County not spotlight the merits of the A65, the Armley Gyratory System, junction 42 of the M1, or indeed any other road infrastructures servicing our region.

Footnote – That’s if Yorkshire is still God’s Own County. After all, the Holy Trinity’s gaffer may now hold differing opinions about the county following his enforced exile to the ‘dark side’ west of the Pennines for unpaid council rent at his Bradford flat.

While writing this tribute to the county of yours truly’s birth, and home for over half my life, I’m currently bah t’at. With this being penned from my bed, under chez Strachan’s dress codes the wearing of millinery is optional…… And even if it wasn’t optional, with certainty the edict couldn’t be effectively policed, I’d still be hatless….. Blimey, I’m such a maverick!

To be honest, even when not bed in situ, I rarely wear a hat. Consequently, witnessing me trotting around East Ardsley’s avenues and alleyways on horseback wearing a stetson isn’t a scene which’ll likely play out.

Even if I wanted to, which I don’t, for starters I’d have to buy a horse and stetson. Although, on reflection, actually purchasing an equine would be a hare-brained act; after all, the initial price and upkeep costs would be far too prohibitive. If I change my mind about riding, i’d have to rent a horse upon delivery of my splendid new headwear.

Anyhow, moving on…..

GJ Strachan’s gratitude at having Yorkshire as the place I call home never diminishes. England’s largest county bequeathing residents/visitors rugged, scenic splendour of the Dales to the west; sweeping moorland and steep North Sea coastal towns to the east; quaint market towns in the north; with commercial underpinning from regions in the south.

The sum of these contrasting parts creating a wonderfully diverse place, affording those tarrying within its borders opportunity to proffer observations such as “Malham Cove was an impressive geological sight. Wasn’t it, Mavis.“, “That hill at Robin Hood’s Bay maybe blinking steep; but the views were stunning. Weren’t they, Mavis!” and “Mavis and me thought Thirsk was a particularly enchanting market town.

Footnote – I’ve no idea who this fella is who uttered such joyous reviews (which, as I’ve just made him up, isn’t surprising) but he and his wife Mavis seem to’ve enjoyed their Yorkshire vacation…. That’s if it is his wife…… They might be ‘living over the brush’ as my dear old mum describes couple who reside together minus a band of gold on their ring finger…… Gary, they’re fictional. Move on!

If truth be told, although I’ve frequently tarried to Yorkshire’s north, east and west parts during my half a century, or so, on this planet, my sojourns to the counties south have been infrequent.

My odysseys to that area mainly restricted to work meetings/courses around Barnsley and Sheffield. Regions with proud industrial histories who formerly (but to a lesser extent these days) supplied the globe with coal and steel.

It has to be said, though, as my visits south have been mainly work related, in a role I neither enjoyed or played to my strengths, I’m yet to make the fond memories I bear for the rest of the regions.

Happy Yorkshire Day to fellow Tykes wherever you are….. As you sit there supping your mug of Yorkshire tea, I’m sure you’ll bear similar fondness for the county I love so much that if we ever split I’d even let it keep the kids and The Beatles albums…. Well, the kids!!

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