We look at a selection of the most famous people and products to originate from God’s Own County.
1. The cat’s eye reflective road stud
The first ever bottle bank in the UK was launched in Barnsley on August 14 1977. Six months later 500 tonnes of glass had been collected nationwide. The cat’s eye reflective road stud was invented by Percy Shaw of Halifax.
Photo: Peter Laurie
2. The Brontë sisters
The Parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire, was home to the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne, where they wrote their famous novels. Coastal town Whitby is known as Dracula’s birthplace, after Bram Stoker stayed there in 1890. He found plenty of inspiration for his novel within his surroundings including the abbey, St Mary’s Church and 199 steps.
3. The Lighthouse at Flamborough Head, East Yorkshire.
The lighthouse at Flamborough Head is thought to have been the first built in England, erected in 1669. The last witch burning in England took place in Pocklington in the East Riding in 1630. The world’s first football club was Sheffield FC, formed on October 14 1857.
The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland was inspired by a stone rabbit author Lewis Carroll spotted above the entrance to the sacristy inside St Mary’s Church in Beverley. The world’s first steam locomotive was made by Matthew Murray at Holbeck in Leeds in 1790. Stainless steel, which we now use every day, was discovered by Harry Brearley in Sheffield in 1913. Sheffield later became known as the city for stainless steel production. Guy Fawkes of the Gunpowder Plot fame was born and raised in York. His effigy is put on top of the fire each November 5 on bonfire night.
Photo: James Hardisty
4. Wensleydale cheese
Yorkshire is home to many delicious cheeses, including the widely enjoyed Wensleydale cheese – Wallace & Gromit’s favourite!
William Wilberforce hailed from Hull. He was an MP who campaigned for abolition of the slave trade. The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was eventually passed three days before Wilberforce’s death. Sir George Cayley was an English engineer, inventor and aviator. He lived in Brompton, near Scarborough, and is among most important people in the history of aeronautics. Many consider him to be the first true scientific aerial investigator and the first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight.
Marks & Spencer started life as a penny bazaar stall on Leeds market. Look at them now!
Photo: Simon Hulme