Celebrating heritage from the brooding Brontë moors to the distinct dialects of Yorkshire
Now ‘heritage guardians’ and those who tend to the region’s care are to be brought together for the first summit of its kind.
From an exchange of ideas to the sharing of opportunities, the hope is that it can bring unity and strength to celebrate Yorkshire’s ‘sense of place’ while collectively championing the region’s tourism gems.
Phil Bell is chief executive of The Yorkshire Society, which is co-hosting Yorkshire’s first Heritage Summit with Pontefract Civic Society on March 23.
To him, heritage is inheritance, he said, with Yorkshire’s sense of identity having long progressed past the cliché of ‘flat caps and whippets’.
“As a community what do we have to leave the next generation other than those things that make our community special,” he added.
“Yorkshire’s heritage has been left, in the main, to the people of Yorkshire, through not-for-profit organisations and charities, to protect it for the next generation.
“The summit will help and encourage this multitude of organisations to support each other and work together, for a greater than the sum-of-the-parts effect.”
The Yorkshire Society, under the banner of a cooperative body called the Yorkshire Heritage Guardians, has already brought together a host of voluntary and charitable organisations across the region, and is now extending an invite to those involved in its heritage care.
The summit, to be held at Pontefract Town Hall, will see key-note speakers including Rachel Bice, chief executive of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, author and campaigner Colin Speakman and Tim Barber, owner of Real Yorkshire Tours. Other groups include The Yorkshire Regiment, Yorkshire Philosophical Society, and the Yorkshire Dialect Society.
To Mr Barber, heritage can be difficult to define. It’s as evident in the purple heathers of the North York Moors as it is in the dry stone walls of the Dales and the chalk uplands of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Then in the region’s textile mills and museums, the history of viaduct builds, wildlife and film and food and drink, alongside the literary history and landscapes of the brooding Bronte moors.
He said: “Heritage covers such a wide range. It’s history, it’s culture, traditions, it can involve nature and our landscapes. Why not bring everything together?
“There’s that element of trying to bring people together, and hopefully reaching the next generation that is coming through. We think it’s an exciting initiative, influencing conversations on a regional and national level.”
The summit will see a virtual tour with Pontefract Civic Society of the Town Hall and a walking tour of the centre.
Author Colin Speakman is one of the key note speakers. He said: “This summit brings together for the very first time some of the many amazing voluntary bodies whose passion for Yorkshire’s unique environment and culture has led to their greater understanding and conservation for present and future generations.”
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