1st August 2022 – Whether they’re spending the next few hours bah t’at or wi’ t’at, I’d like to wish my fellow Tykes a Happy Yorkshire Day.
For the uninitiated who’re confused about this tattery of which I speak, they’re references to lyrics within the unofficial Yorkshire folk anthem On Ilkley Moor Bah T’at. It’s warbler relaying in refrain his trials strolling steep and windy moorland south of the aforementioned spa town without hat (bah t’at)
This Bradford parish, which bears evidence of habitation as early as 11,000 BC, dissected by A65 carriageway which stretches from Leeds in the east to Kendal at it’s west.
Incidentally, I cannot say with certainty the road splitting Ilkley was labelled the A65 at the time the iconic white rose county folk song was penned, or indeed in 11,000 BC, although I can hazard an uneducated guess it wasn’t.
From memory, there’s certainly no clue in On Ilkley Moor Bah T’at’s lyrics as to UK road naming conventions at that historical juncture…… Or, coming to think of it, any reference to thoroughfares.
That being said, the absence of “Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee stroll t’ A65” within the lyric bears little, if any, relevance to this blog’s objective anyhow.
I’m here to wax lyrical about the splendours of the (just shy of) three million acres nicknamed God’s Own County. Not to highlight the A65’s merits, or otherwise. Or, those of Armley’s Gyratory System, the M1’s Lofthouse Interchange, or indeed any other road infrastructures servicing our beguiling region.
I’m currently bah t’at while ascribing this tribute to the county of yours truly’s birth, and residence for over half my life. Chez Strachan’s dress codes thankfully decreeing the wearing of millinery within it’s (soon to be sold) chambers is optional…… And even if it wasn’t optional, as the edict couldn’t be effectively policed, I’d still be hatless….. Blimey, I’m such a maverick!
To be honest, apart from the occasional adornment of a flat cap, which my buddy Sarah observes makes me look a “Right tw*t!”, I rarely wear a hat. Consequently, it’s unlikely you’d witness me strolling West Yorkshire’s streets wearing a stetson.
GJ Strachan’s gratitude at having Yorkshire as a place to lay his hat (if he wore them) never diminishing. England’s largest county bequeathing rugged, scenic splendour of the Dales to the west; sweeping moorland and steep North Sea coastal towns to the east; the north’s quaint market towns; with the Peak District National Park and commerce underpinning regions in the south.
The sum of these contrasting parts creating a wonderfully diverse place, affording those tarrying within its borders opportunity to observe “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 uttering joyous reviews is (which, as I’ve just made him up, isn’t surprising). However, it’s clear he and his wife Mavis appear to’ve enjoyed their Yorkshire vacation…. That’s if it is his wife…… They might be ‘living over the brush’ as my dear old late mum described couples residing together minus a band of gold on their ring finger…… Gary, remember they’re fictional. Move on!….. Oh, and best remove the reviews from TripAdvisor!
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 coal and steel globally.
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 forge the fond memories I bear for the rest of our county.
Anyhow, happy Yorkshire Day to fellow Tykes wherever you are….. As you sit there supping your mug of Yorkshire tea, I’m sure you’ll harbour similar fondness for the region I (along with Mavis) cherish so much.
A resplendent place I’d always want to call home….. A county of which I’m so fond that if we ever split I’d even let it keep the kids and The Beatles albums…. Well, the kids!!