East Riding of Yorkshire

The East Riding of Yorkshire flag
Flag of the East Riding of Yorkshire

The ancient and 1889 boundaries of the East Riding extended north to Malton and Filey Brigg on the coast. They followed the banks of the River Derwent, which flowed north east from York. The Ouse’s flow defined the western boundary south west from the ancient capital to where it enters the Humber estuary at Goole. Over the water lay the ancient county of Lindsey, nowadays known as Lincolnshire.

The 1974 restructuring brought major changes to the East Riding by creating a new county called Humberside. A divide surfaced by the postal service between the north and south. Addresses north would have “North Humberside” in their addresses. Those on the south bank would be “South Humberside”. Hull still the major settlement in the area, now had places such as Scunthorpe and Grimsby included in the same region alongside BeverleyDriffield and Goole, first part of the old West riding.

During the area’s time outside Yorkshire, the Humber Bridge was complete in 1981. This linked the two banks of the estuary just outside Hull to Barton on Humber.

The new county proved very unpopular amongst residents and politicians who still believed to be part of Yorkshire. According to one councillor, there was a campaign to get rid of Humberside. By the early 90s, it was common to see vandalised signs which bore the Humberside coat of arms and welcomed people to “England’s newest county.”

During a government review, they created four new unitary authorities. One in the city of Hull (rural East Yorkshire) and another centred on Beverley. Lands to the south of the Humber returned to Yorkshire as North and North East Lincolnshire. The East Riding of Yorkshire returned to God’s own county in April 1996 reduced in area. The current boundaries end north of Bridlington on the East Coast and at Stamford Bridge in the West, although the area still somehow kept Goole. Now, the area of the East Riding has around 590,800 occupants with Hull as its largest settlement. The County Hall in Beverley is the administrative centre for the rural East Riding Authority. It also acts as an agricultural and religious centre with its 15th century minster.

The flat land to the north of Hull and South of the Yorkshire moors provides an excellent place to grow crops. This includes corn, oilseed rape and wheat. The coastal towns of Bridlington, Hornsea and Withernsea are popular seaside resorts dotted with caravans and camp sites. This coastline is also famous for having the fastest rate of erosion in Europe, with parts of some villages close to falling into the North Sea.

The chalk Yorkshire Wolds is an unspoilt, and less heralded, scenic area of the county to visit and is popular with walkers and cyclists. The area has pretty villages, such as Warter, Huggate and ever-amusing Wetwang. Each has their own duck ponds, which is a common feature in East Yorkshire settlements. Market Weighton, a pleasant market town at the heart of the Riding, was home to the Yorkshire giant, William Bradley. At 7ft 9in tall, used to hold the title of the Tallest British Man.

To confuse those outside of Yorkshire, some areas key institutions (the police force, fire service and airport based on the south bank) keep the Humberside name. According to the residents, the East Riding is still very much a part of Yorkshire.

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