The following article appeared in the Yorkshire Times on Tuesday 14 August:
All Yorkshire folk are rightly proud of their great Olympians as they gained enough medals to have justified a high place in the league table of nations. Rather amazingly the success of our athletes was not matched with an understanding of where Yorkshire is. Even Welcome to Yorkshire in their tribute to Yorkshire Olympic Heroes included in the map of Yorkshire parts of northern Lincolnshire but omitted the westerly and northern-most parts of Yorkshire, including the highest point, Mickle Fell, and Middlesbrough.
Although they removed Middlesbrough from the map of Yorkshire they did rightly claim Kat Copeland from Ingleby Barwick near Middlesbrough as one of Yorkshire’s daughters.
Their graphics people appear to have achieved this by moving Guisborough south west on the map and stating that Kat lives in Stokesley, not Ingleby Barwick which is 5 miles to the north.
Perhaps the reasoning behind what Welcome To Yorkshire have done is that the area Welcome To Yorkshire represent in North East Yorkshire only goes up to the North Yorkshire Council boundary not the Yorkshire boundary, which of course is the River Tees! Guisborough is in fact in the Redcar & Cleveland Council area and Ingleby
Barwick is in the Stockton-On-Tees council area. All three councils administer part of Yorkshire.
There is only one Yorkshire – the traditional county – and the title used by Welcome To Yorkshire is misleading. The real Yorkshire is clearly defined as three Ridings and the city of York, nothing more and most certainly nothing less.
The following statement was made by a Government official to explain the changes which created new administrative areas in the reorganisation of local government in 1974: “The new county boundaries are administrative areas, and will not alter the traditional boundaries of counties, nor is it intended that the loyalties of people living in them will change despite the different names adopted by the new administrative counties.”
The administrative areas of West, East, North and South Yorkshire were created as part of this but these new administrative areas most certainly never abolished Yorkshire, which remains the largest of England’s 39 counties with a 600 mile boundary spreading from the Pennines to the North Sea and the River Humber to the River Tees.
There has been much talk about our wonderful cultural heritage over the course of the Olympics, especially in the opening and closing ceremonies, and many have asked what legacy the Olympics will leave. Perhaps the greatest legacy would be that we all understand where Yorkshire is, and that includes Welcome To Yorkshire. Hopefully come the next Olympics all Yorkshire folk will know not only where Yorkshire is but also the other 38 English counties, as our counties are a great expression of our cultural heritage! Current administrative areas will come and go – Yorkshire will remain as it has for over 1,137 years.
I believe the time has now come for Mr Verity, Welcome To Yorkshire’s Chief Executive, to insist that Welcome to Yorkshire does as the name suggests and welcomes folk to Yorkshire that includes Middlesbrough and Mickle Fell, not Lincolnshire. I look forward to seeing Welcome To Yorkshire using the true map of Yorkshire.
Over to you, Mr Verity.