Why I Love Yorkshire

Why do I love Yorkshire? To be honest, I don't really know.  I just know that I'm proud to say I come from Yorkshire and its heritage.  Us Yorkshire folks get slated sometimes by those we don't know.  I guess its because of our Yorkshire accent. I'd love to have a proper Yorkshire accent with thees and thous and I's instead of the one I've been blessed with. Being born and bred in Yorkshire makes me very proud.  My debut into the White Rose County began in the late sixties, in the front bedroom of a terraced house in the Broomfields, Headingley, just a spit away from the Rugby Ground.  Two hundred years ago Headingley was a prosperous, thriving community.  My mum used to say that if you came from Headingley you were someone.  Its not like that anymore.  Not since the students took over.  Its also home to four well known pubs, The Skyrack, The Three Horseshoes, The Original Oak and The New Inn.  The Original Oak and The Skyrack take their name from the ancient oak tree, the Shire Oak, which stood to the North of St Michaels Church until 194I.  A new tree now stands in its place.

Dating back to the Viking period, Headingley was the focal point of the "Warpentake of Skyrack or Siaraches, the Shire Oak which means "bright oak." This was a meeting place of courts where meetings took place to settle legal disputes and raise armies. Fond memories of visiting the two cinemas, Cottage Road and The Lounge stay with me to this very day. The Lounge doesn't exist anymore. Plans are afoot to turn it into housing. It's also been extended to accommodate bars. Going to The Lounge was a big love of mine. I've seen many a film there. As a kid Saturday matinee and watching the old Rank Organisation movies were a must for me. In those days admission was really cheap.  Probably pence rather than pounds.  My parents used to give me a small amount of money to buy a drink and an ice cream during the interval and there was always change. It was sheer sacrilege the day the decision was made to close The Lounge. It mustn't be forgotten of course, that Headingley is home to the Yorkshire County Cricket club. As teenagers my friend and I used to climb over the wall of the rugby/cricket ground from the ginnel that runs alongside the ground from St Michaels Lane to North Lane. We were never caught and just used to do our own thing.  One night we actually watched a rugby match and took delight in seeing the handsome players running around the pitch. If the officials saw us they didn't let on.

Match days were disliked and dreaded by me.  Rugby and cricket fans would park in the streets, including ours, with little or no regard to the residents.  Parking your car was an absolute nightmare. If you were lucky enough to park up and needed to go out it was like trying to get out of Fort Knox. You'd go down one street hoping there was an escape, only to be prevented from doing so by some idiot who had deliberately blocked the street at the top or bottom. Playing in Triangle Wood, on Cardigan Road as a kid is a fond memory too. We used to have great fun in there. I don't know the history of it and guess it was given its name because it's shaped like a triangle. It was always overgrown with trees and shrubs. I've recently looked it up on the net and its actually called Sparrow Park according to the info I've been reading, I think the council are wanting to restore and extend it. I can't forget or lose sight of the fact that we have some beautiful countryside here in Yorkshire. This is probably one of the reasons why I love Yorkshire so much. I'm not able to really describe how I feel with clarity when my eyes settle on the open fields. Feelings of being at home and somehow an inner peace comes over me. I also feel exhilarated. My heart skips a beat or two every time. Maybe I'm a country girl at heart. I don't know.

Headingley isn't my home anymore. Its Yeadon now. There's nothing for me in Headingley anymore but memories.  My mum and dad are no longer alive and that's probably why Headingley belongs to another time for me; not this one.  Its always nice to go back but I have no desire to live there again. I love living in Yeadon. Compared to Headingley there seems to be a slower pace of life. Living in Yeadon gives me the best of two worlds. Ten minutes in one direction there is the High Street which reminds me of a mini Headingely and the Arndale Centre, and less than five minutes in the opposite direction I've got The Haw and open fields.   For me there are two beauty spots in Yeadon. The Haw and the Tarn.  I'm privileged to live so close to them and love my walks up over the Haw, passed the viewing point for the airport and across the road to The Tarn. I believe that its name has been given by the 'posh' people.  Locals refer to it as the Dam. When I stand at the top of The Haw and look across to Guiseley and Otley, the view never ceases to amaze me.  Lets hope that this view is preserved for many years to come for our future generations.  When I first came to Yeadon I did hear that Banksfield was targeted for housing development which would be a crying shame. An appeal against the housing was made some years ago and apparently the highest Judge in the country declared Banksfield as a village green.  As far as I'm aware this means that it belongs to the public and can never be touched. The last I'd heard about Banksfield an appeal has been made by developers to the European courts. My love for the Yorkshire people never falters. I don't think there's folks in any other part of the country that are equally as friendly and hospitable.  Walking into a Yorkshire home, you're welcomed with a cup of tea and piece of cake or a sandwich! I'm proud to be associated with the folks of Yorkshire.

Helen C

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