5 things you didn’t know were born in Yorkshire

These are five things born in Yorkshire, that you probably did not know were born right here.


1. The steam locomotive
Yorkshire is packed with museums about locomotives and railways.

It all began during the Industrial Revolution, thanks to the idea of some engineers to make the most of the products present on site , although there is some controversy about the father of the first engine. I quote an engineer who owned a factory in Leeds , Matthew Murray, whose locomotive was the first to make a journey, precisely on the Middleton Railway, the oldest public railroad in use.

photo credit: Christopher Combe Photography The Flying Scotsman on NYMR via photopin (license)

The oldest locomotive still used by the British Railways is the Fairy Queen Steam locomotive, built in 1855 in Leeds, mainly used in India, where it remained until the 1970s. In 1997 it was restored and put back on the tracks.

One of the things I want to try is the path of the Moors on a vintage train. You can expect a post about it, but you can also visit the site nymr. co. uk to gain some info.


2. Stainless steel
How much I love steel… I like it so much that, when it came to my home, I asked that I would not be given silver cutlery (who wants to clean them? I don’t…), but steel cutlery. Every now and then I look at them, glossy, beautiful, shimmering…

Despite even in this case there is a long diatribe about who is the father or inventor of stainless steel (well explained by the British Stainless Steel Association), you can reasonably assume it was Harry Brearley. He was born and lived in Sheffield, a city famous for its steel industries, and at first he worked in his paternal company. The discovery of stainless steel, like many others, happened by chance , studying different ways to improve cutlery, as well as the armaments for what would become the First World War.


3. Football clubs
I don’t even need to explain, do I? How much Britain likes football… All news about football.

The first real football rules were written in London at the end of 1800, at the beginning it was mainly about sports competitions between schools. Slowly all the clubs that we know today were born, but the oldest not associated with schools or universities is the Sheffield F.C., from Sheffield, precisely. This club also developed a series of rules that strongly contributed to those in use even today.


4. Liquorice confectionary
Obviously the liquorice plant already existed: in the UK, it was cultivated mainly in Pontefract by the Dominican monks, who used it as an ingredient in various medicaments. It is in 1760 that, thanks to the addition of some sugar, the first licorice-based sweets are born: since then the cultivation (and the consumption) grew to a great extent, so that the raw material was imported from other European countries.
photo credit: KevPBur All alone via photopin (license)

Inflation? It was easier and less expensive to import than to cultivate on site. Thus, around the Second World War, most of the Yorkshire companies had closed down, while licorice crops became zero.

In recent years they have tried to bring back the cultivation of licorice in Yorkshire: visit the Festival of Pontefract if you are in the area!


5. KitKats
I heard people tell me that the KitKats are a typical Japanese production. I have seen tourists gingo to the desperate search for KitKat of every taste (for the modest price of 2000 yen per piece O.O), to use them as souvenirs for friends and family.
If it is true that in Japan the KitKats are produced in an absurd variety of tastes (at least buy at the supermarket, they should cost less), the KitKats are English, of Yorkshire.

Not only KitKats: York is famous for the producers of chocolate, there are even museums (I can not wait!), in which workshops are organized for all ages; some hotels even have special offers for chocolate lovers!

Since I think I’ll write more about York and its chocolate, you have reached the end of the post, I just tell you that in mid-April the York chocolate Festival is held! Yum!!!

From the same series:
5 flowers of Japan
5 things to do in Japan in Autumn
5 women in aviation history (Part 1)
5 idol anime you should watch

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