The victory at the Battle of Minden turned into a bigger celebration than a decisive engagement in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) would suggest. When an Anglo-German army under the overall command of Ferdinand of Brunswick defeated a French army in 1759, and the German-Prussian field marshal was awarded £20,000 and the Order of the Garter, no one would imagine the historical influence over the meaning of the day.
However, it is in the nature of the English people to protest against any governmental wrongdoing, like the Local Government Act 1972. Thus, Minden Day, which commemorates the participation of the forerunners of the British Army regiments in the Battle of Minden, was adopted in 1975 as Yorkshire Day to reflect the presence of Yorkshire Light Infantry at Minden, which is nowadays celebrated to mark all that is special about Yorkshire, to protect the historic English county’s character.
The celebration of the Yorkshire Day involves the wearing of “Minden Roses” on the regimental headdress to recall the white roses that the Yorkshire soldiers wore at the battle as tributes to their comrades-in-arms. The colours of roses vary these days.
The Yorkshire Society annually awards a Council the honour of hosting the Society’s Civic event to mark Yorkshire Day. Since 1985 the event has been held in different towns and cities throughout the County. This year the Society’s official celebration is held in Whitby while the event coincides with the 250th anniversary of the first landing in New Zealand by Captain Cook, one of the most famous Yorkshiremen.
One of the main celebrations of the day is the reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in Old English, Latin, Old Norse and modern English. A number of activities are planned but the main event is going to be the Civic Celebration, organised by the Yorkshire Society and Whitby Town Council. Tickets for this special event are £49.50 per person. Numbers are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Yorkshire Day’s proceedings are as follows:
08:15 – 09:15 Guests park in the Marina Car Park and walk to the Star Inn the Harbour
08:30 – 09:45 Breakfast reception and Robing at the Star Inn the Harbour
10:15 Shuttle busses transport guests to St Hilda’s Church
10:45 Yorkshire Day Service in St Hilda’s Church. Following the service, the shuttle buses will transport the guests to Church Street for the start of the Civic Procession
12:15 The ceremonial parade of the lord mayors, mayors, and other civic heads from across the county as well as members of the Yorkshire Society through the streets of Whitby, with a band at the front to lead
12:45 Pre-lunch reception in the Dock End marquee
13:15 Lunch prepared by Michelin-starred Chef, Andrew Pern and his team from The Star Inn the Harbour, inspired by fresh, local ingredients from Whitby
16:15 – 16:30 Departure
Wherever you are, if you love Yorkshire, on 1 August 2019 you can join the not-for-profit membership organisation for free, and save yourself the usual £20 annual fee for individual membership.