Eight things that you didn't know came from Yorkshire

Yorkshire puddings, flat caps, cobbled streets - when it comes to regional cliches, Yorkshire has plenty.

The UK's largest county celebrates 'Yorkshire Day' on August 1 - and there are a number of world firsts and exports many don't know about 'God's own county'.


The Wright brothers may be credited with the first manned controlled flight, but it was a Yorkshireman who took to the skies 50 years before them.

George Cayley, a Scarborough-born engineer, spent most of his adult life studying aerodynamics.

He revealed the concept of the fixed-wing airplane in 1799, but it was his breakthrough four years before his death which saw him dubbed 'the father of aerodynamics'.

In 1853, Cayley built and flew a full-sized glider. He didn't do it himself though - reports from the time suggest it was his footman, John Appleby, who made the historic 200m trip across Brompton Dale.

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The flight would have made Appleby the world's first adult aviator. A replica of the 1853 machine was flown at the same site in 1973 - 120 years after the momentous trip.


In the film world, Yorkshire was the site for another world first - the earliest ever moving picture in 1888.

French cinematographer Louis Le Prince invented the first ever moving pictures using a single lens camera.

The Father of Cinematography's first film - 'Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge' - would become the world's first successful moving picture.

It was shot from an upstairs window of No.19 Bridge End, where a blue plaque has since been installed commemorating the event.


West Yorkshire is famed for its cultivation of rhubarb, and has been for more than a century.

'The Rhubarb Triangle' - a huge Yorkshire patch covering Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield - once produced 90 per cent of the world's 'forced' rhubarb, thanks to the cold, wet conditions which helped it thrive.

In Britain, the first rhubarb of the year is still harvested by candlelight in 'forcing sheds', producing a sweeter, more tender crop.

Although the Rhubarb Triangle covers a smaller area than it used to, West Yorkshire still has some of the largest producers in the UK.

They remain proud of the export too - Wakefield Council holds an annual Rhubarb Festival in February, and a giant rhubarb statue was erected in the town in 2005.


At almost eight feet tall, weighing 27 stone and with feet 15 inches long, William 'The Yorkshire Giant' Bradley is said to have been Britain's tallest man ever.

'Giant Bradley' was born in February 1787 at an already-massive 14lb, and reached 7ft 8ins by his 19th birthday.

The three-storey house he lived in with his family in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire, had extra high ceilings and wide doors.

Bradley's height - he was 7ft 9ins when he died aged 33 - was all the more remarkable given his father was just 5ft 9ins, and his mother also of average height.

Residents in Market Weighton still celebrate their most famous son with an annual 'Giant Bradley Day'.


Sheffield FC, founded in 1857, is widely recognised as the oldest football club in the world.

Their derby match against neighbours Hallam FC in 1860 is the oldest derby in association football.

The match, which was played under 'Sheffield Rules', set out laws which formed part of the modern game, such as corners, throw-ins, crossbars and free kicks.

The game was played at Hallam's Sandygate Lane pitch, which is the oldest football ground in the world.

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In 1885 the first professional league was established - but Sheffield FC weren't strong enough to enter, so set up football's first amateur competition.

Sheffield FC have remained an amateur team, and currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One South.


The herb with the sweet-tasting roots is native to southern Europe and Asia - but the town of Pontefract turned it into commercially-produced sweets.

The West Yorkshire market town was the first place where liquorice mixed with sugar was used as a sweet in the same way it is now.

Liquorice herbs were brought to this country by 11th century Crusaders returning from the Middle East. It was grown by medieval monks in Pontefract and flourished in the muck-enriched Yorkshire soil.

At one time there were 13 liquorice factories in Pontefract, employing up to 500 people. Production has since declined, but the West Yorkshire town still celebrates its association with liquorice with an annual festival.


On June 7 1931, an earthquake off the Yorkshire coast rocked the whole of Britain.

The Dogger Bank quake, with its epicentre 60 miles off the Yorkshire coastline, measured 6.1 on the Richter Scale - still Britain's strongest ever quake.

The effects of the tremor were felt across Britain, as well as in Belgium and France.

Filey in North Yorkshire suffered the most damage, while Hull and Bridlington were also hit.

The quake was even said to have caused a small tsunami, although there were very only two reported casualties.


The Humber Bridge, near Hull, is a whopping 2,220 m (7,280ft) long, making it the longest single-span suspension bridge in the UK, the second longest in Europe, and the fifth longest in the world.

The bridge opened to traffic in June 1981, and now carries over 120,000 vehicles per week.

Before the bridge opened drivers would have to cross from the East Riding of Yorkshire to North Lincolnshire by taking a ferry or driving via three different motorways.

Motorists used to have to cough up £3 each way to cross the bridge, but the toll was reduced to £1.50 each way last year.

The bridge was the world's longest of its kind for 16 years, but has since been bumped into fifth. Motorists driving from Hull to Grimsby probably don't mind though - it reduces the road distance between the two places by 50 miles.

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