The UK may not have as many patriotic tendencies as others all over the world, particularly in comparison to our friends over the pond but it is befuddling that an island nation such as ourselves can have so many differences within such minimal distances.
The fact that it’s possible to spend time in the Northumberland countryside, Alnwick, Bamburgh or Berwick-upon-Tweed and be surrounded by the classic northern ‘twang but by the time you reach Burnmouth or Jedburgh you’d be forgiven for thinking you may have stumbled into the wilderness of the Scottish highlands with the sudden change in dialect. It’s not just the Scottish boarders of course, the trip from Gloucester to Abergavenny will provide a similar sensation, along with the couple of hour ferry trip to our Irish neighbours - and don’t even get us started with the Manchester and Liverpool divide that spans a minute 34 miles.
The point being, that whilst we may only have a small land mass compared to others, our cultural, dialectal and attitudinal differences are numerous and means that patriotism is far more localised. Instead of holding a close affinity to our country we take pride in our local communities; our villages, our towns, our counties.
Of course, this is a blanket statement and there are glorious moments of countrywide unity that will live long in the memory. For Englishmen, when Jonny Wilkinson’s drop kick went through the posts, Kieran Trippier’s free kick hit the back of the net, when Jos Buttler removed those bails we felt sheer joy in unison. When the Queen celebrates monumental occasions, the Olympics come around and Royal weddings take place the UK tends to fall into harmony and in the past few weeks, the celebration of our NHS and carers has brought us all together in celebrating passion, dedication, and the sheer determination to help others.
Being a Yorkshire company however, we may be one of few remaining locations in the country that consistently displays its pride on a regular basis – although this opinion is of course up for discussion. This moment of reflection arrived when clearing out the wardrobe recently and discovering a Tour-De-France puzzle depicting the Peloton climbing the cobbles of Haworth, West Yorkshire. With the puzzle near completion it led us to thinking of the wonderful attributes that Gods county has to offer and how proud we are to call it home.
The Yorkshire Dales provide fantastic areas of beauty, whether it be Malham, Ribblehead, Swaledale, Wensleydale or Fountains Abbey, the list truly could go on for hours - maybe we’ll write it one day! The ability to take the dogs into the hills and not see another soul for hours is the perfect remedy to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, although it’s an opportunity that has obviously been put on pause for the time being – I don’t think it’s just us who are itching to go back there.
It’s not just the countryside that creates the widely held pride of our county, it’s the attitudes of the people. We may have a reputation for keeping an eye on our purse strings, but this doesn’t stop the kind-hearted nature of the people. If you were to be lost anywhere in the country you’d want it to be Yorkshire, the first person you find will happily point you in the right direction, give you a map and give you their phone number – we’re sure of it.
Not only is this journal post a reflection on the ever-existent Yorkshire pride, but it’s also an encouragement to look at your own communities and spread this spirit further afield. We British love to disagree and push our opinions. In fact, it is arguably the most prominent reason that we find ourselves so divided – whether it be politics, our views on the monarchy, what and were taxpayers money should be going in the first place… it certainly feels at times that all 66 million of us has a different opinion. It would be fantastic to take the positivity seen in uniting behind our public health service recently and apply it to our lives moving forward – seeing a United Kingdom ‘Yorkshire spirit’ as it were.
That isn’t to say that opinions should be scrapped and not voiced – but that we show support and make a difference in more positive ways.
We truly are proud to be a Yorkshire company and it’s been fantastic to see the community spirit over the past 12 months as we have expanded into more retail stores. As the sentiments of many emails that we have received over the past few days have echoed, here’s hoping that the positive attitudes that we are seeing more on more of in this difficult time spreads far and wide long after the situation improves.
Keep Safe & Stay Positive.
The Brook Taverner Team