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Yorkshire&HUMBER

‘God’s own Country’ as the locals might decree, is one-part wilderness and one-part industrial; some might say akin to their menfolk. The Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, The Pennines and the Lincolnshire Wolds offer the sanctuary from the industrial centres that did so much to cement Britain’s global ambitions.

Sheffield was an industrial powerhouse of steel works, ‘Steel City’ as it became known and the home of Sheffield Plate and stainless steel. Making everything from cutlery to buttons to candlesticks. Because of this Sheffield also became the spiritual home of the knife and Sheffield United still has two swords crossed on their crest and are known as the Blades although they were originally nicknamed the ‘Cutlers’.

The iron industry was also important to other parts of the region. Scunthorpe became what is known as a monotown, as it really only had one industry. It was the country’s largest steel town and grew at an incredible rate from only 1245 inhabitants in 1851 to almost 46,000 by 1941. Sadly, the demise of the industry has had a terrible effect on what the locals affectionately call Scunny.

Bradford garnered the moniker of the ‘Wool capital of the world’ which I am sure helped Barnsley just down the road to create the ‘Barnsley Chop’, something workers from the 70 coal mines that peppered the area must have relished after a long day down t’pit.

Although many of the traditional industries have fallen into crisis, this part of Great Britain still thrives. The tongue in cheek call for a Team Yorkshire to enter the Olympics after winning 14 medals out of the 67 by Team GB, which would have placed them 17th in the world, ahead of Canada, New Zealand and South Africa says so much. As does the phrase ‘I know what I like, and I like what I bloody well know’

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