Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Invention of Yorkshireness

Congratulations to William Marshall, curmudgeonly columnist on the Halifax Evening Courier, on securing a grant to research a topic close to my heart - 'The Invention of Yorkshireness: Yorkshire cultural identities 1850-1914'.

The Yorkshire Post quotes Marshall on that noble creed 'See all, hear all, say nowt; eat all, drink all, pay nowt' -
"It's interesting to discover the ways in which Yorkshire people have come to define themselves like this.
"One area of source material I've been looking at is picture postcards from the early 1900s. There's a series of "Yorkshire Sayings" which depict pot-bellied farmers dispensing such advice as a mother telling her daughter to only marry for money or a father telling his son never to do anything for 'nowt'.
"The thing is, these stereotypes actually seem to have been taken up by Yorkshire people themselves.
"They seemed to relish this idea of being quite stubborn and selfish – many of these postcards were bought by Yorkshire-folk and sent to other people within the county, so this negative self-image was not only acceptable to them but perpetuated by them."

More in the Courier itself, although that paper does show some distressing regional stereotyping in its headline: Our William is given an 'Ey oop' award.

On a related subject, I'm quite pleased with this panoramic pic I did of Halifax as seen from Beacon Hill -
Halifax, in all its glory
Click through for full-size, to admire the town's geographic and architectural glories - given the financial news of the past few days, it could be a last chance to see the HBOS head office before they put the shutters up...



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