Yorkshire forever: White Rose flies high for annual festivities

Brenda Cockayne, Bob Rodgers and Cllr Jamie Curley by the statue of Ammon Wrigley

‘YORKSHIRE forever, God save the Queen’ was the rallying cry as locals braved the wet weather to celebrate Saddleworth’s affiliation with the White Rose county.

The drizzling rain and cool temperatures did not put off the crowds who gathered in Uppermill for the annual Yorkshire Day festivities on July 28.

The public and special guests met in front of dialect poet Ammon Wrigley’s statue by Saddleworth Museum for the official ceremony.

Compere Bob Rodgers read aloud poems and led a rousing rendition of the Holmfirth Anthem (Pratty Flowers) before reading the official Declaration of Independence.

In 2019, Yorkshire will be 1,144 years old so the declaration was read at 11.44 am and met with applause and cheers from the crowd.

Then chair of Saddleworth Parish Council Cllr Jamie Curley and his wife Debbie, along with Oliver Benson waving a flag bearing the White Rose of Yorkshire, led the procession along high street.

Accompanied by a band comprised of local players, they marched to King George V playing fields to continue the festivities.

A host of activities there included craft stalls, tug of war, duck race, children’s races, gin bar, plus food and drink outlets.

Local groups and organisations gathered to showcase their talents and wares, including Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, the Saddleworth branch of the RBL, Saddleworth Tractor Group and the Lancashire branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association.

The annual event was thrown into doubt earlier this month but dedicated volunteers, led by Brenda Cockayne, ensured the event went ahead.

Saddleworth’s administrative ties with Yorkshire were cut during local government re-organisation in 1974 but the annual event promotes and celebrates the historic connection.

Yorkshire Day is officially marked on August 1 but Saddleworth’s celebrations take place on the Sunday closest to that date.

2 Replies to “Yorkshire forever: White Rose flies high for annual festivities”

  1. The idea that Saddleworth is in Yorkshire is a source of great mirth for the people of the upper Colne Valley. If you went in the Riverhead Tap and told them you were from Uppermill in Yorkshire, they would laugh in your face. Dream on Lancs!

    1. Ok, clever clogs. Where’s the border on the West side of the Pennines? Not an imagined one, the real one as stated to Parliament by Government Ministers on two occasions and recorded in Hansard.

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