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.
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?’
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.
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.
“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.”