Yorkshire. United Kingdom’s biggest county. God’s own country. Home.
Yorkshire has an abundance meanings to each of its residents, be it simply a home away from home, a birthplace or even a favourite place to visit. But to the rest of the country or even the world, out lookers may see our county for the many things that originated here such as food favourites, a famous retailer or the birthplace of a favourite author.
Being from Yorkshire, I honestly couldn’t imagine a Sunday roast without the beloved Yorkshire pudding, religiously saving the star of the roast as my ‘best till last’ weekly. The Yorkshire pudding was in fact created by chefs in the North of England who didn’t want to waste the fat in their dripping pan, so they decided to make use of this while their meat was roasting. In 1737, a recipe for a ‘dripping pudding’ was published in the book ‘The Whole Duty of a Woman’ and the Yorkshire title was added within the same book just 10 years later. As they say – the rest is history.
Stainless steel is believed to have been discovered in 1919 by Sheffield-born metallurgist Harry Brearley. In 1912, Brearley was given the job to prolong the life of gun barrels that were eroding too quickly. Following this request, he created what is argued to be the first-ever ‘stainless steel’, which he made using 12.8% chromium and 0.24% carbon. Sheffield is now known world-wide as the ‘Steel City’ as it gained an international reputation for its steel production in the 19th Century, creating a large boom in population and trade during the Industrial Revolution.
Marks & Spencer
The multinational retailer may now have its headquarters in London, but M&S was actually founded in West Yorkshire city, Leeds. Founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer as a Penny Bazaar in Kirkgate Market which led them to acquire a permanent stall in the indoor market in 1894. Some of the products they sold for a penny included items such as buttons, soap and other small items. The duo had a niche in which they allowed their customers to see and handle the goods before deciding to buy, and the stall became very successful. In 2013, M&S opened a heritage stall within this same Leeds Kirkgate Market, at a site very close by to the original stall that started the business all of them years ago.
The Brontë Sisters
The infamous 19th Century sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne were born in Thornton in West Yorkshire and were later associated with the village of Haworth in the City of Bradford. The sisters have many famous novels under their belts including ‘Jane Eyre’ (Charlotte Brontë – however originally published under a male pseudonym), ‘Wuthering Heights’ (by Emily Brontë) and ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ (by Anne Brontë). Their home in Haworth is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum which welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
The first-ever football club
The world’s first-ever football club believe it or not was actually formed in Sheffield in South Yorkshire as Sheffield FC in 1857. It is still active to this day, making the football club over 160 years old. The club is the world’s oldest surviving independent football club, meaning it is the oldest club that is not associated with an institution such as a school, university or hospital. Sheffield FC is also officially recognised by FIFA and The Football Association of England (FA) as the world’s oldest football club. The owners of the club even influenced the rules of the FA and helped form the first writing of a commonly accepted set of rules which they called ‘the Sheffield rules’ – the first official set of rules used in football games.
What is your favourite thing that Yorkshire has given the world? (Besides yourselves of course!) Let us know in the comments.