There's nowt quite like Yorkshire Day - Ian McMillan

Frank Scrooge woke up to see his old mate Cyril Marley sitting at the foot of the bed. Except he couldn’t be there because he was dead.

Ian McMillan offers up his own, unique take on Yorkshire Day.

Cyril intoned: “I’ll tell thi summat, Frank, in’t next three neets tha guin to be visited by three spirits – t’spirit of Yorkshire Day past, t’Spirit of Yorkshire Day Present and t’Spirit of Yorkshire Day Yet To Come. Think on what they tell thi!”

Suddenly Frank was transported to a scene from his childhood. A friendly man in a flat cap stood next to him and Frank realised that this must be t’Spirit of Yorkshire Day Past. “Look at that,” said the spirit. “They’re learning the lad the proper way!” and Scrooge watched as the boy who was Scrooge looked at things in a shop window and, imitating his mother, parroted: “How much? How much? I could mek one missen!” and Frank’s mother patted him on the head and said: “That’s the spirit of Yorkshire Day, my lad!”

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Then the scene changed and Frank Scrooge found himself watching the Yorkshire Day party he was due to go to later, and he noticed that, as usual, they’d invited some people from Lancashire to make fun of.

Frank and t’Spirit of Yorkshire Day Present watched as the sad and feeble Lancastrians made sad and feeble attempts in their comic accents to brag about Lancashire beauty spots, and beers and cheeses and sporting prowess, just for the Yorkshire people in the room to fall about laughing and set them right about the Yorkshire versions of the aforementioned.

T’Spirit of Yorkshire Day Present turned to Frank and said: “That’s why everybody loves us, you see: because we’re better than everybody else!” Frank agreed, but he wanted, like most people, even Yorkshire people, to be loved.

Then the room melted away to reveal an empty space cloaked in darkness. A hooded figure stood next to Frank and this was obviously t’Spirit of Yorkshire Day Yet To Come. The spirit pointed with a bony finger and Frank managed to make out a number of huddled figures in giant flat caps murmuring phrases like ‘Yorkshire rain’s wettest” and “Tha can’t call that tea”.

Frank asked the hooded figure: “Is this how Yorkshire Day will be in the future? Will nobody come to listen to us telling people how great Yorkshire is and pretending to be skinflints?” The hooded figure laughed and said: “Of course not!” and whipped off the hood to reveal a shining White Rose costume.

The lights went up and the flat-capped people began to sing On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at to crowds who enjoyed listening to Yorkshire folk showing off and pretending to be skinflints. Happy Yorkshire Day, everybody. How much?

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