Mark Casci: If we keep our eye on the future everyday could be Yorkshire Day

Picture of white rose for Yorkshire Day. -thwhris1-2-
Picture of white rose for Yorkshire Day. -thwhris1-2-
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It is perhaps typical of the unique Yorkshire character that the day set up to honour and celebrate the region divides its own populous so much.

It is hardly surprising given the contrary nature of this great region. After all, we cannot even decide why August 1 is Yorkshire Day (some say its the date of the decisive Battle of Minden in the Seven Years’ War in 1759 while others say it marks the UK’s emancipation of the slaves in 1834 – Yorkshiremen played a pivotal role in both).

Yorkshire Day has unquestionably grown in stature in the past few years.

However despite the increasing recognition it is receiving it is easy to see why there is some antipathy towards from within the broad acres. So much of the rhetoric is patronising, with unwelcome references to flat caps, whippets and Yorkshire puddings abounding, stereotypes which frankly should be drowned at birth.

There is nothing wrong with taking a day to reflect on our welcoming demeanour, our first-rate culture, our proud sporting-prowess and our world-changing record for innovation and commerce.

Nor is it wrong to be proud of your heritage. From food and drink to arts, to scenery to music to theatre, we are a truly special place.

Siemens wind turbine factory, Alexandra Dock, Hull.'25th April 2018.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Siemens wind turbine factory, Alexandra Dock, Hull.'25th April 2018.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Equally it is right to be proud of our present.

This summer Gareth Southgate’s squad put pride back in the national side, a charge driven by our Yorkshire Magnificent Seven of Vardy, Maguire, Walker, Delph, Stones, Rose and Cahill.

Indeed with this week’s Inspiring Yorkshire supplement, we celebrated 100 truly great individuals who are putting the region on the worldwide map, via every avenue imaginable.

However, as much as we look backward with pride, and take pleasure in the present I submit that we should also look forward with equal amounts of satisfaction – especially in the world of business.

21 November 2017......    Picture Post'Stangs Lane on the Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way near Appletreewick, in Wharfedale.  Technical details, Nikon D3s 80-200mm lens, 1.6 second exposure 125th @f7.1, 640 ISO. Picture Tony Johnson.

21 November 2017...... Picture Post'Stangs Lane on the Yorkshire Dales Cycle Way near Appletreewick, in Wharfedale. Technical details, Nikon D3s 80-200mm lens, 1.6 second exposure 125th @f7.1, 640 ISO. Picture Tony Johnson.

Take the city of Hull, now an epicentre of green energy. Global giant Siemens, having seen what the region has to offer with its £160m wind turbine facility in the city, is now ploughing more investment into the region, with a multi-million pound railway factory in Goole and a £40m deal to revamp turbines at Drax Power Station’s biomass facilities.

As a city used to helping design and create first-class products for worldwide consumption, Sheffield is now heading into an exciting new chapter, designing state-of-the-art engine technologies for the industries of high end automobiles and jet engines.

As a region as a whole, we are second only to London when it comes to legal and financial services.

The likes of Shoosmiths and Reed Smith have taken the decision to move into Yorkshire, intrigued by the prowess and talent of the market.

In the last two months Yorkshire has become home to two unicorns, namely tech firms worth more than a billion pounds. I would be flabbergasted if there are not more to follow, as Sheffield, Leeds and other urban areas continue to develop and nurture these fast-growing industries of the future.

Take too the examples of our great universities which are spinning out innovative companies at a rate of knots, helping foster the next generation of Yorkshire-born talent.

We now have a track record of delivering great events like the Tour de Yorkshire, Tramlines and Leeds Festivals to name but a few.

With Leeds to brush off the European Union’s churlish decision to disallow the UK to host Capital of Culture and stage its own celebration is a sign of what we are capable of in the face of adversity.

With cutting edge technology, industries and technologies, a new more modern and future-ready era is unfolding in this great county, one that is weaving itself into the fabric of the magnificent heritage and character we already have.

It may not be as recognisable as a flat cap but it is one that will ensure that, in the years going forward, that it will not only be August 1, but every day of the year, that is known as Yorkshire Day.