Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Yorkshire Ridings Society 35 years and still going strong

The Yorkshire Ridings Society held its first meeting in Beverley in November 1974 and may be one of the longest running campaign groups in the United Kingdom.

At its Triennial General meeting held last night in the Black Swan at York Redcar Councillor Chris Abbott, who was re-elected Chairman of the Executive Committee, said:

"We must be one of the longest running campaign groups in the United Kingdom. We were formed in response to the 1974 re-organisation of Local Government to campaign for the continued recognition of the three Ridings of Yorkshire in spite of the fact that some parts of the county were transferred to other "counties" for administrative purposes.

"Encouraged by Government statements that the changes were for administrative purposes only and for all other purposes Yorkshire is still Yorkshire, the Ridings Society has doggedly fought to keep alive the historic three Ridings. The earliest known written reference appears in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles of 876.

"We successfully campaigned for the abolition of Cleveland County and Humberside and our role since has been to ensure that the Ridings of Yorkshire remain in existence for all cultural, ceremonial, sporting and postal purposes. Local Government changes make no difference as long as we accept that our historic counties exist alongside them.

"To this end the Society successfully introduced Yorkshire Day in 1975 (the first county in the UK to have its own special day 1st August) which has grown in popularity each year since. We have also been successful in arranging for the erection of Ridings boundary signs on the roads in many areas along the boundaries of historic Yorkshire. At our next meeting in December we are meeting to review our aims and plan for the next few years of campaigning."

Founder member, Mr John Dargan of Goole was re-elected Treasurer, a position he has held since the day the Society was formed. Other officers elected were President - Mrs Judith Anderson of Hull, Vice Chairman - Mr Roger Sewell of Goole, Secretary - Mr Gavin Gibb of London, Minute Secretary - Mrs Hilary Holt and Membership Secretary Miss Hilary Slights of Hovingham.

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