A MUSICIAN led procession has helped Ilkley celebrate Yorkshire Day.

Residents of all ages joined in the fun on Thursday, August 1 after meeting at the bandstand on The Grove.

The parade then headed along to the Town Hall, on Station Road, where Ilkley Town Crier Isabel Ashman read out the Yorkshire Day declaration at 11.42am.

Ilkley’s MP John Grogan (Lab, Keighley) and current and former local councillors were among those taking part.

Afterwards the New Phoenix Jazz Band who had led the procession - thanks to a grant from Ilkley Town Council - continued playing as it wandered around town to entertain residents and visitors alike.

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley), who helped lead the parade, was delighted with how it all went.

She said: “The Yorkshire Day celebrations were very well received.

“This year the procession had lots of younger followers so I am afraid I didn’t have enough flags for them all - some waved Ilkley summer festival leaflets instead!

“We also had a couple of Town Councillors attending, MP John Grogan and his staff and former council Chairman Brian Mann.

“After the declaration the New Phoenix Jazz Band wandered around town playing, stopping at cafes, and were well received. And the weather was good too - you can’t ask for more.”

Flags bearing the White Rose of Yorkshire were also flying in Otley for the day.

Otley Bellman and UK champion town crier Terry Ford read the Declaration of Integrity (Yorkshire Day proclamation) at the Maypole at noon, watched by residents and passersby.

The Declaration of Integrity states Yorkshire is ‘three Ridings and the City of York’ and ‘that all persons born therein or resident therein and loyal to the Ridings are Yorkshiremen and women’.

Amongst the many other celebrations that were held around the county this year was a civic parade of lord mayors, mayors and other civic heads. Convened by the Yorkshire Society, the event has been held annually at different venues since the late 1980s and this year took place in Whitby.

Yorkshire Day began in 1975 when it was first held in Beverley as a protest against local government re-organisation. The day also has links to the Battle of Minden, which was fought on August 1, 1759 and involved the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. It is also the anniversary of the emancipation of slaves in the British Empire on August 1, 1834. Yorkshire MP William Wilberforce was one of the leading abolitionists.