The people of Yorkshire & Humber

Lots of regions say it, but in our case it’s true: Yorkshire people are the friendliest you’ll meet! Sit in a tea-shop, stand in a city-centre bus queue or wander through a Dales village, and someone’s bound to start up a conversation. And that makes Yorkshire & Humber one of the nicest places to live in or visit.

The people of our region have also made huge contributions to all walks of life.

We are a determined people; focused, competitive and ambitious. We’re also enterprising and successful:

Yorkshire people have won no less than 7 Nobel Prizes for science. Amy Johnson, the pioneering aviator, was from Hull. Joseph Rowntree, the chocolate magnate and social reformer, was from York. Percy Shaw, who put cats’ eye in our roads, was from Halifax, and Helen Sharman (the first Briton in space) was born in Sheffield. And Robin Hood, Guy Fawkes and John Wycliffe (theologian, reformist and Bible-translator) were all from our region.

Politics and social action

Yorkshire was the birthplace of former prime ministers Herbert Asquith and Harold Wilson, and also of William Hague; David Blunkett; first female Speaker of the House Betty Boothroyd; Alasdair Campbell; Barbara Castle; Roy Hattersley; Denis Healey; John Prescott; Arthur Scargill—and William Wilberforce, the social campaigner who brought about the end of the slave trade.


We’ve produced plenty of musicians: the Arctic Monkeys; the Kaiser Chiefs; Corinne Bailey Ray; Tony Christie; Jarvis Cocker; Def Leppard; Martin Fry; Lesley Garrett; Phil Oakey; Robert Palmer; Mark Almond, and Kimberley Walsh of Girls Aloud.


As a major player in cricket, rugby and football at least, it’s no surprise our region has produced a long list of famous names. It includes Sebastian Coe (now Lord Coe); ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed; ‘ Dickie’ Bird and cricketers Fred Trueman, Geoff Boycott, Darren Gough and Ray Illingworth. Gordon Banks was part of the 1966 England World Cup team, and we are also ‘home’ to Brian Clough, Kevin Keegan, Steve McClaren and Don Revie. From rugby come Brian Moore, Jason Robinson, Rory Underwood and commentator Eddie Waring. And we can also claim Olympic swimmer Adrian Moorhouse, show-jumper Harvey Smith, and tennis-player Roger Taylor.

The arts

Our region has produced the likes of W H Auden; Alan Bennett; Sir Malcolm Bradbury; Barbara Taylor Bradford; the Brontës; A S Byatt; Bruce Chatwin; Margaret Drabble; Helen Fielding; Joanne Harris; Ted Hughes (former poet laureate); and the inimitable Ian McMillan. (Not to forget Gervase Phinn, J B Priestley, Arthur Ransome, Edith Sitwell and Graham Taylor of the Shadowmancer novels.)  Our most famous artists and sculptors include David Hockney, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Andy Goldsworthy.

Stage and screen

We can claim Dame Judi Dench; Ben Kingsley; Sir Tom Courtenay; Charles Laughton, James Mason; Malcolm McDowell; Peter O'Toole; Diana Rigg; Patrick Stewart; and Tom Wilkinson—and many, many more.


We’re proud of the Yorkshire sense of humour, and those who’ve made their fame from it: people like Maureen Lipman, Norman Collier, Adrian Edmondson, Michael Palin, Vic Reeves, Ernie Wise and Count Arthur Strong.

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