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Made In Yorkshire

Made in Yorkshire! Some say that ‘there’s no such thing as perfection… but if it’s from Yorkshire, it’s pretty close‘. Some things are so close to perfection they become household names all around Britain, and even the world. Guest contributor John Scott, will delve into the back stories of some of those great Yorkshire names. Finding out about the people behind the companies, their humble beginnings, how they became household names, and where they are now.

As we work our way through the series, we will learn about some of the biggest names on every high street and in every retail park across the county. How did a group of dairy farmers become one of ‘the big four’ supermarkets? Why did a small mill in the heart of Brontë Country spawn a chain of soft furnishings shops, whilst other larger and more successful mills in the big towns and cities went into decline? How did a hatter disappearing in Bradford lead to one of the most successful chains of British menswear outlets?

Food has always been important in Yorkshire (think of Sundays without Yorkshire pudding). We shall also be looking at some of our top food and drink manufacturers. Could you imagine a night out in the pub without a packet of nuts? What would you do at Christmas without a tin of Quality Street or a Chocolate Orange to nibble on while you watch the big movie? What would Wallace and Gromitt have on their crackers if it wasn’t for a small farm near Hawes?

The modern culture of ‘Health and Safety’ is not a surprise to us Yorkshire folk. We’ve always looked after ourselves and others. Long before the modern fad for health supplements, we had our cod liver oil. Imagine what first aid kits would be like if we didn’t have sticking plasters. Countless lives saved on roads all around the world, thanks to a device made from a couple of glass beads and a bit of rubber produced in the Calder Valley.

Yorkshire has given the world some of the biggest names in film, music, art, and showbiz. We’ll tell you of one of the pioneers of early film, still known today for their saucy postcards. We’ll also tell you the story of an Irish immigrant whose family have become synonymous with seaside amusement arcades. That same family in the 1960s brought a little slice of Las Vegas to a small Yorkshire mill town.

Other questions we will look to answer include – how is a Yorkshire company important in making sure every New Year’s Eve or Guy Fawkes’ Night celebration goes off with a bang? How did a 19th century foundry in Huddersfield give us one of James Bond’s major icons? Which animal appears in famous churches and cathedrals around the country, thanks to a Yorkshire wood carver. And, what is it about Yorkshire made cutlery that sets it above all others?

As we go along, we will learn the answers to all these questions and many more.  In the first of our series, we will look at one of Yorkshire’s biggest companies – ASDA.