Not your average Joe: Yorkshire Rising

From the shadows of work-induced desperation a glimmer of hope, as the end of the week emerges and a gap in the schedule appears. Could I afford two days off? Escape this bubble? My work is done, filming is finished and the Tories can survive without me (just) – I hear the sound of Yorkshire calling, the pull of my ancestral home and the yearning of my soul to return. Quietly I pack, and quickly I sneak away, boarding a direct train to Leeds. I am free.

Well, for just over three hours I am in fact crammed into an overcrowded train, with overpriced refreshments and squawking children galore. For despite the envisioned glories of my return, the expected tranquillity of my travels, the schools happen to be breaking up. And although, as many of you already know, I have a heart of gold and empathy for all gods’ creatures, three hours of a snotty child playing on a Nintendo DS in the QUIET COACH, is enough to drive any saint to the edge of assault. Composed and restrained I remained, calmed by my escape from the godforsaken South, rejuvenated by the prospect of home.

For those of you previously unaware, Yorkshire is God’s County. It is home to around 5.2 million proud Yorkshiremen (equal to the population of Scotland), and despite our historic ups and downs, and state-induced depressions and dependencies, the White Rose will rise again. Many in Oxford seem to believe that north of the Watford gap, lays a wasteland empty of hope and void of opportunity. Utter poppy cock.  Often we true northerners are happy to perpetuate the myths – seeking to avoid floods of Southerners defiling our country side and hollowing out the culture of our cities – but today I break this pact of silence, and shout from the height of the dales Yorkshire’s arrival. From the majesty of the North Yorkshire moors, the urban splendour of Leeds and historic magnificence of York, we don’t require Southern approval, but feel we need to offer you a helping hand, a hand up from your unhappy and stressful lives. Did I mention Yorkshire is also the happiest county?

What is the point of all this? Firstly, it’s only a matter of time until the North secedes. But more importantly, sometimes, fellow students, burst your bubble. Take time to explore your nation, your home, to truly experience the wonders she has to offer. But keep your Southern hands off our land.

-Joe Cooke

PHOTO/Glen Bowman