Hat’s what Yorkshire’s all about as city celebrates in style
Flat cap flinging, a new world record and a parade of former coal miners took centre stage as Yorkshire Day saw Leeds celebrating the best of the region’s unique history, heritage and culture.
A series of events showcasing the lighter side of the White Rose county took place today at historic sites across the city, with Leeds leading the way in paying tribute to Yorkshire’s past, present and future.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This year’s Yorkshire Day has been filled with sights and spectacles which we can genuinely say you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the world.
“Year after year, what shines through is just how much pride people take in saying they’re a Yorkshire lad or lass and how passionately they feel about sharing and celebrating the things that make Yorkshire such a special place.”
At Lotherton, former miners gathered for a special Yorkshire Day march carrying banners and memorabilia commemorating those who lost their lives down Yorkshire’s pits.
The ex-coal workers also brought back the remarkable tradition of a josh wedding, a ceremony which began almost a century ago as a novel way of supporting injured coal workers.
In the 1920s, before the National Health Service, josh weddings were a way of raising money to fund a bed at Leeds General Infirmary for anyone needing care after being injured down local mines.
Miners were joined by local charities and groups including The Elderberries of Swillington, St George’s Crypt and Garforth Art Group.
For the first time, Leeds Industrial Museum in Armley, hosted the Yorkshire Open Hat Throwing Championships, which saw visitors step up and be part of an unusual sporting spectacle.
The contest was organised by Bradford-based poet and the inventor of hat throwing Glyn Watkins and involved competitors throwing hats at a stationary pole.
Glyn said: “Today has been a right champion celebration of Yorkshire Day and it’s been grand to see people enjoying the sport of hat throwing in place which has such a strong connection to everything that gives Yorkshire its distinctive identity.
“Yorkshire is proud to be a bit different and I take my hat off to all the people who’ve come along and thrown themselves into it today.”
And at Leeds’s iconic Kirkgate Market, shoppers and traders looked to have secured a place record books for having the most flat caps worn at any one time in a single venue.
While the final numbers still have to be officially verified, organisers are nevertheless hopeful they secured the record.
The market also hosted young entrepreneurs from Leeds and West Yorkshire who were showcasing their creative talents and business skills at the first ever Yorkshire Regional Youth Market.
The talented young traders had the chance to be entered into the National Market Traders Federation’s national youth market competition.
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