Yorkshire, the historic county of Britain and the largest, has a deep connection with Norse community. The Nordic Vikings had occupied the county a long time back and aspects of their influence remain. The dialect spoken in Yorkshire also has Nordic connotations.
The Norse word Riding was the official word of the administrative jurisdictions that Yorkshire is divided upon. In fact, the actual word is thrithing, from the Norse equivalent thrithjungr. The dialect spoken in Yorkshire, called as Tyke, has paralles with the tyke in the helmets of the Vikings.
Yorkshire at the time was divided into the North Riding, East Rising and the West riding. Those terminologies are still valid today. In one of our earlier posts we covered the history of the North Riding http://www.hearthtax.org.uk/communities/northriding/index.html
The West riding includes the cities of Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield and the City of York. Parts of Lancashire are also included here. This part has the harshest dialect in Yorkshire. The term west riding is intensively used, with the sailing club, local football association, cricket league, the opera musical group and the amateur football league consisting of it in their official names.
Leeds is perhaps the biggest name in West Yorkshire and its most populated city. Its economy today is mostly driven by the legal and financial industry, with Leeds bring Britain’s second largest financial hub after London. More than 30 national and international banks are located in Leeds. Manufacturing also accounts for a significant chunk of the local economy, with Leeds amongst the top 5 manufacturing hubs in the UK.
Yorkshire is not fondly recalled today for its recent council ruling on second tax policy. The intention to increase tax rates for second home owners in Yorkshire was rejected by the Tory government. The hike, had it been implemented, would have proved a relief to the average citizen as increasing prices would have stalled. With things the way they are now, wealthy Yorkshire citizens can buy second homes with little to no deterrence.
The ramification of this rejection is that this could lead to tax hikes in other sectors of the economy. The conservatives are always perceived to be the wealthy man’s best friend. Keeping in line with their ruling, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see tax hikes in sectors that can easily harm the average middle class citizen. Let us hope that is not the case.