1st August is Yorkshire Day with a celebration of all things Yorkshire across the district.
In Ilkley the Yorkshire Declaration will take place at Ilkley Railway Station following the arrival of the special train at 10.57 to celebrate 150 years of the first train coming to Ilkley.
The exhibition to celebrate the event is currently on in Ilkley Library until September 9th. A local history expert will be present in the library on Friday August 7th, 14th and 21st from 11am so people can drop in and chat about the display.
In Bradford city centre the celebrations will start at 12 noon with the City Hall bells striking the hour and playing the Yorkshire anthem ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht’at.’
The song is thought to have become popular locally during the latter part of the 19th century but became more widely known during World War One as it was used as a quick march song by the men of the Yorkshire Regiment and then picked up by others. In 1917 ‘The Ilkley Gazette’ referred to an article printed in ‘The War Illustrated ‘ about the various refrains, chants and songs sung by soldiers at the front:
‘ the following quaintly humorous song and refrain is sung by men of the Yorkshire Regiments to the hymn tune ‘Cranford’(sic)…’
The writer, who is evidently not a Yorkshireman, explains that the words of the refrain mean in English ‘On Ilkley Moor without a hat.’
The song is actually sung to the tune ‘Cranbrook’, by Thomas Clark, not to be confused with ‘Cranford’, a novel by Mrs Gaskell in 1853!