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Area's heritage to be celebrated on North Riding Day
5:43pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
RESIDENTS are being invited to join civic leaders in celebrating the customs and traditions of the North Riding.
Councillor Bernard Bateman, chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, said he hoped North Riding Day on August 22, the anniversary of Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth, would trigger a resurgence of people marking the heritage of the historic area.
He said less attention had been paid to the culture of the area following the abolition of both the administrative county and the Lieutenancy of the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1974.
Coun Bateman, who is aiming to make the day an annual event, will host a reception for civic leaders at County Hall in Northallerton and hoist the North Riding flag, which was revealed in May at Barnard Castle, in the county town for the first time.
He said the area, which included Hambleton, Richmondshire, Harrogate, Ryedale, and Scarborough in North Yorkshire, with parts in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Teesdale, and Redcar and Cleveland, developed a unique dialect, folklore, recipes and customs partly due to its geography.
Society humourist Richard Blakeborough’s 1898 book Wit, Character, Folklore and Customs in the North Riding of Yorkshire stated: “Many of the Dales are far remote from the wider influences and the outer world; they are little communities and they belong to themselves.”
Blakeborough records an array of customs perculiar to the area, such as buckle-snatching, where men seized women’s shoes on Easter Day before demanding a ransom.
He added that while it was usual in Great Ayton to discharge firearms over the bridal party as they processed to and from the church, “in some parts of Cleveland, I doubt if the bride and groom considered themselves properly wedded if there were no race for a ribbon or handkerchief.”
Coun Bateman said: “People seem to have a profound love for the area, and it is simple to see why when you have a drive around and look at what is perhaps the finest scenery in England.
“The area has its own community atmosphere, with very strong communities with people working for each other.”
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