Being Yorkshire OR I am a ‘TYKE’
The culture of Yorkshire has developed over the county's history, influenced by the cultures of those who came to control the region, including the Celts (Brigantes and Parisii), Romans, Angles, Vikings and Normans. Yorkshire people are said to have a strong sense of regional identity and have been viewed to identify more strongly with their county than their country. The Yorkshire dialect and accent is distinctive....
The Yorkshireman's Motto:
'Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt -
Allus do it fer thissen.
Yorkshire people are immensely proud of both their county and their identity, embracing the popular nickname of God's Own County given to Yorkshire.
Folk music and dance.
Yorkshire has a rich heritage of folk music and folk dance including particularly Long Sword dance. Folk songs were collected in the region from the nineteenth century, and it probably had more attention than other northern counties, but its rich heritage of northern and industrial folk song was relatively neglected. It was not until the second folk revival in the 1950s that Nigel and Mary Hudleston began to attempt to redress the balance, collecting nearly 400 Yorkshire songs between 1958 and 1978.
Yorkshire folk song lacked the unique instrumental features of folk in areas like Northumbria and was chiefly distinguished by the use of dialect, particularly in the West Riding and exemplified by the song On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at, probably written in the later nineteenth century and using a Kent folk tune (almost certainly borrowed via a Methodist hymnal), but often seen as an unofficial Yorkshire anthem. Most Yorkshire folk songs were not unique and tended to be adapted to fit local geography and dialect, as with probably the most commercially successful Yorkshire song, Scarborough Fair, recorded by Simon and Garfunkel, which was a version of the Scottish ballad The Elfin Knight. One unusual piece of music is the unique choral folk song, probably derived from an 18th-century ballad, known as the Holmfirth Anthem or Pratty Flowers.
The most eminent folk performers from the county are the Watersons from Hull, who began recording Yorkshire versions of folk songs from 1965, and members of which are still performing today. Also famous is the Leeds-born musician the late Jake Thackray, who became famous in the 1970s for singing witty, often bawdy songs, many of which related to rural Yorkshire life, in a style derived from the French chansonnier tradition. His work led him to be described by some as the "Northern Noel Coward". Other Yorkshire folk musicians include Heather Wood (b. 1945) of the Young Tradition, the short-lived electric folk group Mr Fox (1970-2),The Deighton Family, Julie Matthews, Kathryn Roberts, and the Mercury Prize nominated Kate Rusby.
Yorkshire has a flourishing folk music culture, with over forty folk clubs and thirty annual folk music festivals. In 2007 the Yorkshire Garland Group was formed to make Yorkshire folk songs accessible online and in schools.
WICKHAM CUP DANCE TROPHY
The Wickham Cup has been keenly contested at Cleckheaton since the turn of the century - to use a good old phrase. Each year, sides from all over the country gather to dance at various spots around the town to entertain the public but, more importantly, they come to take part in a dance competition open to any style in the Morris Dancers' range. The side which makes the best presentation in terms of intricacy of steps, rhythm, musicianship, costume and crowd pleasing ability are judged winners and hold the main trophy for a year and are presented with a replica to keep.
Previous winners of the competition have been:
2000 Rainbow Morris Dancers 2008 Theiving Magpie
2001 Instep Research Team 2009 (Stopped due to illness)
2002 Spen Valley Longswords 2010 Mortimers Morris
2003 Roll Back the Carpet 2011 Wayzgoose
2005 Ironmen and Severn Gilders 2012 Dame's Rocket (from USA)
2006 Spen Valley Longswords 2013 Wayzgoose
2007 Wight Bells 2014 NYFTE
2015 - Congratulations to The Theiving Magpies
CLECKHEATON: STEEPED IN HISTORY.
Situated in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, right in the middle of the West Yorks Conurbation, with Leeds, Bradford and Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury all approx the same short distance away. Affectionately known by the locals (and regular visitors) as just plain Clecky, the name is a corruption due to J.B. Priestley (1894-1984) and his writings, Clekywyke being the setting for “When we are married”.
THE SPEN VALLEY:
Inspiration to many writers including the Brontes who lived on Halifax Road, Hightown before moving to Haworth. Clough House, in which the parents first lived and in which Maria and Elizabeth were born while their father was curate at Hartshead Church, is still standing. The Red House (1660’s and now a museum) and Kirklees Hall are both mentioned in Charlotte’s writings, the Red House being “Briarmains” and Kirklees Hall being “Nunwood” in her book “Shirley”. Robin Hood is reputedly buried in Kirklees Park, where the Hall sits, just over the hill in Clifton.
1812 LUDDITE DISTURBANCES;
Several protestors were shot by soldiers in 1812 in Huddersfield at the mill owner’s request in reprisal for the famous Luddite uprising. This originated in the East Midlands but was at it’s fiercest on the banks of the Spen Beck. In 1812 the rioters attacked Rawfold Mill in our town. As a result of plotting at a nearby public house, The Shears, they set out to wreck the power operated cropping machines. 1842 brought more civil disturbances with the Boiler Plug Riots. 5000 marched to Peg Mill to draw the plugs out of the steam boilers. One of our local folk clubs has kept the name alive of The Croppers (held every Friday eve except at Festival time), The Cropper Lads being their theme song telling the historical tale of events.
2012, being the centenary, remembered the history of the uprising at the festival with a play by the Hammer and Shears Company.