White Rose blooms

Date published: 06 August 2013

RAIN failed to dampen spirits as the people of Saddleworth proudly celebrated their Yorkshire heritage.

Yorkshire Day, which is held on the Sunday closest to August 1 each year, was set up by the Yorkshire Ridings Society to celebrate the days when Saddleworth was part of the White Rose county until boundary changes in 1974.

King George V playing fields in Uppermill saw hundreds of revellers soak up the atmosphere with a little help from the Delph Brass Monkeys Band, Morris dancers, the Greaves Early Dance company and All Stars drama group.

Stalls selling everything from vintage tea to cupcakes and ornate wooden sculptures to birth stones enticed the customers and little ones were kept entertained by a pet show, duck race and donkey rides.

Staff from the Saddleworth Museum were speaking to visitors to see if they had any suggestions about how the popular venue should be updated after receiving much-needed grant money.

Steve Whitehead said: “We are gauging public opinion and this is the perfect place as it is full of people who want to celebrate the area’s heritage.”

Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, gave a rousing speech to the crowds about her Yorkshire roots, but the crowd had to correct her when she paid tribute to Saddleworth’s cotton trade when she should have said woollen trade.

Oldham’s Youth Mayor Emma O’Donnell paid a visit to the popular event saying: “I managed to get here before the rain started. It is incredible to see so many people proud of Saddleworth’s history.”

Jackie Brooks, who was enjoying her first trip to a Yorkshire Day event, said: “I thought I would come along and see what all the fuss is about. There’s lots to see and do and there’s a really great atmosphere so I might make it an annual visit from now on.”

Earlier in the day, Delph man Gilbert Symes read the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity beside the statue of Ammon Wrigley — the celebrated Saddleworth author and poet, who died in 1946 — at the museum before crowds paraded down the High Street to the park to continue the fun.

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