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Monday, 28 December 2020

The Yorkshire Story of the Creation

Yesterday, blogger Yorkshire Pudding complained about a scurrilous postcard purporting to epitomise the character of Yorkshire people. This moves me to set the record straight with this account disclosed by a work colleague some years ago.

The Yorkshire Story of the Creation

Recently, the Bishop of Oxford denounced attacks by creationists on the teaching in schools of the scientific facts about the evolution of life on Earth. He says that the attackers are bringing religion into disrepute by pretending that the theory of evolution is a ‘faith position’ on an equal footing to the biblical story of the creation.

Traditionally, the Anglican Church has relied on Archbishops and Synods to demarcate the boundaries of science and religion, especially the Archbishop of York. The latter is, however, keeping a dignified silence. You may be puzzled by this, but to those of us who know how the county of York was really created there is no puzzle at all. The Archbishop is simply being diplomatic and discreet. He knows exactly how Yorkshire was created.

It came about during a particularly dull February when God himself was overcome by existential ennui. God went missing for six days, but on the seventh day the Archangel Gabriel found him resting contentedly.

“Where have you been, Lord, and what have you been doing?” asked the worried angel.

“I have created a planet called Earth, a place of wonderful contrast and balance,” declared God with a serene smile.

“Contrast and balance?” queried the bemused Gabriel. So God explained.

“That part there in the North of America is very wealthy, and in the South, there, I established great poverty. Over there, I have put a continent of white earthlings, while down there is a continent of black folks…” God described all the continents and peoples to Gabriel, showing him which parts were hot, which were covered in ice, where it was flat and where it was mountainous. Gabriel was almightily impressed. Pointing to a particularly attractive area of England he asked “And what’s that?”

“Ah,” said God. “That is my own county of Yorkshire, the most glorious place on Earth. There I made beautiful lakes, streams, rivers and hills. Its people make great music, fine architecture, ingenious products. I made them at once modest, intelligent, witty and giants of sport. They are forever kind and hard-working, and wonderfully articulate. They are known throughout the earth as diplomats, peace-makers, and captains of industry, finance and commerce.”

Gabriel, gasping in admiration, was nevertheless puzzled. “But what about the balance, Lord? You said that your Earth is a place of contrast and balance!”

“Indeed,” said God, smiling and nodding sagely. He wiped his brow on his sleeve and pulled Gabriel gently to face the West. “Now let me tell you about Lancashire …”

49 comments:

  1. So He favours flat cap-wearing misers with whippets?

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  2. I think I ought to stay out of this don't you Tasker? But I hear Yorkshire was mentioned in the Bible. Three wise men came from the East Riding camels.

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  3. I have no doubt about the soundness of your theology.

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    1. Trust nobody, suspect everybody and doubt everything.

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  4. Being diplomatic and discreet, I quietly back out of this, shutting the door behind me.

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  5. I can almost feel YP pulling out his braces with his thumbs and a big smile on his face...

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  6. A mix of conflict, harmony and complexity. Each to his/her own liking...

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    1. You can't argue with facts - unless you are a politician.

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  7. May I say with due Yorkshire humility that this was a tremendous post Lord Tasker. One must have sympathy with any Lancastrians who may have stumbled upon this blogpost - especially as there are some long words within it.

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    1. I felt called to provide contrast and balance to your postcard post.

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    2. When used as a family name, Pudding requires a capital "P" Christina. Do they have schools in Lancashire?

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    3. It wasn't my fault, Sir. It was my kindle.......

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  8. Ha,ha. I have always found Lancastrian and Yorkshire folk very similar if not the same. Especially when I spent many a Summer holiday in Scarborough.

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    1. Similar? To that shower? Although they did used to say that one of my aunts was exactly like Thora Hird.

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  9. One of my great grandfathers came from Yorkshire. Don't tell anyone 😃 👍.

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  10. I am a very proud honoury Yorkshireman
    Living in york and Sheffield between 1985 and 2005
    Love the people
    Miss the accent
    Miss the spade is a spade view

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    1. That might just about accumulate sufficient credit under the points system.

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  11. I laughed at the punch line. The truth must be mid point between YP's post and yours.

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  12. I couldn't wait to read the comments.

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    1. I seem to have got away with it fairly lightly, so far.

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  13. That is a lovely myth, made up over the years to qualify for the existence of Yorkshire folk and their slightly inflated impression of themselves! I have often wondered about Yorkshire and devolution, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall are ripe for the happening. The North has got Andy Burnham as a sensible leader. We could go back to the old kingdoms. Hadrian Wall is a good boundary line on one side. And if it happened, we could probably negotiate a deal with Europe out of Brexit ;) Tongue in cheek of course...

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    1. But he's from Liverpool! As YP said some weeks ago, the population of Yorkshire is greater than the population of Scotland, so why not?

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  14. I wonder if children in Yorkshire are being taught this at school.

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    1. More likely in the home. It would not be the only myth.

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  15. One of my dearest friends is a Lancastrian - I shall not encourage her to read this!!

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  16. As a person born in the City of Liverpool surrounded by Lancashire I had a feeling right at the start of that story what the ending was going to be. You and I have fallen out BIG TIME!

    Mind you as I'm Liverpool Welsh and escaped to Scotland where I have (when I wasn't in New Zealand) lived the majority of my life why should I car what Lancastrians and Yorkshire people think of each other. After all none of us is Southerners. (Sorry JayCee and any other Southerner if you read this).

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    1. You are forgiven Graham. We southerners are magnanimous.

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    2. You could replace contrast and balance with distance and perspective. Not too far back I know of bitter rivalries between villages only a few miles apart. When I lived in North-East Scotland there were a lot of Americans there. They couldn't distinguish Scottish accents from Northern English ones. They thought I was Scottish.

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  17. I do not understand why people are proud to be born where they were born...similarly I cannot understand being proud to be a particular nationality if you were born in that country and have never lived anywhere else. To me it is similar to b e proud to have blue eyes, be right handed or have size 8 feet.

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    1. Traveller, you are, of course absolutely correct. Everything from colour, race and creed as well as our nature depends on the circumstances of our birth and upbringing and is sheer happenstance. I think it all started with Luke 18:11 'I thank you, Lord, that I am not as other men are..." (No one knows the next bit).

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    2. It raises interesting and complex issues of identity and rivalry. I believe it is human nature to want to be with others who are like us and do things in similar ways, a point frequently exploited by separatists. It is difficult to imagine having distant origins. We often identify strongly with countries, areas, towns, villages, organisations, sports team, etc., and make fun of rivals. I think that is all I and most commentators here are doing.

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    3. Yes, Tasker, because if we were serious it would be a whole different ball-game and not the fun rivalry most of us accept it as.

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    4. And anyway, to go back to traveller's comment, I am proud of my cute feet, I really am.

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  18. Very good - except of course Wales not Yorkshire is God's own country.

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    1. That's as may be, it is indeed a very nice country, but Yorkshire is God's own county.

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