Yorkshire Day as relevant as ever – 49 years after Saddleworth’s switch

SADDLEWORTH once again turned out in force to mark Yorkshire Day – and try telling those involved it is irrelevant.

Almost 50 years may have passed since the area was moved from the West Riding of the county into Greater Manchester in 1974.

However, the feeling is as fervent as ever – the white rose, not the red one of Lancashire, is its emblem.

Oliver Benson carries the Yorkshire Flag

Yorkshire-based brass bands from Slaithwaite and Marsden combined to perform close to the statue of Ammon Wrigley in Uppermill on Sunday, July 30.

That was followed by a parade along the village’s High Street, leading to some bemused looks from drivers caught behind it and questions from people who would not have been alive when the move happened of ‘What’s going on?’

A wreath of white roses was placed around the neck of the Ammon Wrigley statue

However, after Cllr Pam Byrne read the traditional declaration and Saddleworth’s MP Debbie Abrahams helped place the wreath of white roses around Ammon Wrigley’s neck, the celebration of Saddleworth’s roots took place.

Uppermill Park saw stalls set up around it as many, including fellow councillors Max Woodvine and Luke Lancaster, descended upon the area.

Cllr Luke Lancaster and Cllr Max Woovine

Once again, the parade was led by Oliver Benson, who remembers switching from Yorkshire clearly.

And carrying the flag bearing the white rose means as much to him in 2023 as it would have done in 1974.

He told Saddleworth Independent: “I’ve carried this on Yorkshire Day for the last 20 years.

Saddleworth Parish Council chair and consort, Cllr Kevin Dawson and Linda Dawson

“You can still have Saddleworth, West Yorkshire on your address – as long as you put the postcode in, no-one can object.

“Saddleworth is Yorkshire – always has been, always will be.

“And why is Yorkshire Day still relevant 49 years after it moved? This is still Saddleworth. They may have moved the administration, but they didn’t move the boundary.

“End of. That’s it. As simple as that.”

3 Replies to “Yorkshire Day as relevant as ever – 49 years after Saddleworth’s switch”

  1. I can remember clearly the enforced move of Saddleworth out of the West Riding, administered from Wakefield, to Oldham. Saddleworth people did not identify with Oldham and were strongly opposed, but of course the powers that be took no notice. It ‘s good that people remember and celebrate Saddleworth’s true place, as part of Yorkshire, but sadly we will never get rid of Oldham.

  2. The local Government Act 1972 was implemented APPROPRIATELY on 1st April 1972. The Act abolished the West Riding County Council and transfered local government for Saddleworth to the newly created Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.
    The West Riding of Yorkshire existed in 1086 and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The WRCC was created to administer the area known as the West Riding on 1st April 1889, and was abolished on 31st March 1974. (Only 85 years !)
    Saddleworth DID NOT move out of the West Riding, The West Riding has not been abolished or changed. ONLY the administritive councils were changed.
    The 1972 Act needs to be revised. What is needed is more Localism, NOT even larger local authorities.
    AND get rid of the Regions imposed (I suspect) by the EU.

  3. Why did Cllr. Pam Byrne change the timing of the reading of the declaration of Yorkshire. It should have been read at 11.48 not when she read it at about 11.30.
    John Hodges,Saddleworth Museum

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