Everything you need to know about us
The Yorkshire Society is a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates and promotes Yorkshire – its economy, history, heritage, beauty and unique culture.
It is now the established champion of ‘God’s own County’ locally, nationally and internationally, with members and affiliates around the world.
Non-political and charitable by nature, the Society brings the people of, and those with an interest in, Yorkshire together, for business and pleasure, raising funds to help and support individuals, initiatives, communities and businesses throughout the county.
Under the presidency of Lord St Oswald, an executive board with a team of members and volunteers manages The Yorkshire Society, which is a company limited by guarantee and registered at Companies House No. 11108399.
The history of Yorkshire Societies is long. Many have been established over time and mostly by and for those living outside the county itself as a means of maintaining some connection with it.
The first general meeting of the ‘Gentlemen and others in and near London who were born within the County of York’ took place at Bow Church on 3rd December 1678, and by 1812 another Yorkshire Society was running a school in London for boys and girls of Yorkshire parentage.
In 1891, the Society of Yorkshiremen in London was founded. It lasted for some 80 years, flourishing in the 1920s and 30s and boasting King George V and the then future King, the Duke of York, as patrons.
Our Yorkshire Society, THE Yorkshire Society, was founded in 1980 and is almost certainly the first and only one ever to be based in Yorkshire itself. It was started as a non-political, not for profit organisation to encourage businesses, charities and individuals from or living in all parts of Yorkshire to join in “promoting the county”.
The Yorkshire Society is a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates and promotes Yorkshire: its economy, history, heritage, beauty and unique culture.
VPs & VIPs
Dr John Sentamu
The most reverend John Sentamu is better know as the 97th Archbishop of York. Retiring from the post in 2020, John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu was born in Uganda and practiced law before moving to UK and dedicating his life to the church.
Mark Gregory is famed for his success at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where his spectacular show gardens won Gold two years in a row, in 2018 and 2019. Mark is at the forefront and one of the most familiar faces in the world of British horticulture.
Born in Halifax John Grogan was the Member of Parliament for Selby from 1997-2010 and for Keighley from 2017-2019. He is currently co-chair of the One Yorkshire Committee whose aim is to achieve a devolution settlement for the county as a whole.
Sir Michael Parkinson
Sir Michael Parkinson CBE is an English broadcaster, journalist and author. He presented his talk show, Parkinson, from 1971 to 1982 and 1998 to 2007, as well as other talk shows in the UK and internationally.
Sir Geoffrey Boycott
Sir Geoffrey Boycott, OBE, is a retired Test cricketer who played cricket for Yorkshire and England. In a prolific playing career from 1962 to 1986, Sir Geoffrey established himself as one of Yorkshire and England’s most successful opening batsmen.
Kate Hardcastle MBE is the UK’s ‘go-to’ business expert on consumer insight for National TV & Media. She’s added her brand of knowledgeable commentary to thousands of interviews for BBC TV and Radio, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky News and commercial Radio stations.
Harry Gration MBE
With a 40 year broadcasting career, including 38 years presenting BBC’s Look North, Harry, a Bradford lad, is one of the best known faces in Yorkshire.
Christine Talbot is a journalist and presenter working for ITV Yorkshire and a mainstay of its flagship news programme Calendar. She was named O2 presenter of the year for her region in 2015, O2 Journalist of the year in 2016, and Journalist of the Year by the Yorkshire Royal Television Society in 2015.
Kathryn Apanowicz was born in Bradford, grew up in Horsforth and now lives in the Dales. She is a familiar face and has been seen on our TV screens since she was just 8 years old, first as a presenter of children’s programmes on ITV, later on Calendar and then as an actress in such iconic shows as Angels, Eastenders and Emmerdale – to name but a few.
Capt. Sir Tom Moore
Capt. (now a Colonel of course) Tom, as he likes to be called, is the Society’s first ever Honorary Member, a very special membership for very special people like this, now world-famous, proud Yorkshireman.
Sir Rodney Walker
Sir Rodney brings to the Society a vast amount of experience gained over a long and illustrious career in business, sport and community service, during which he has lead campaigns raising more than £40 million for charities and good causes. The worthy recipient of many accolades, in 1996 the honour of Knight Bachelor was conferred upon him by the Queen for his services to sport.
Linda was born in the West Riding. On leaving school she joined the RAF and, after a break to have her three daughters, she returned to work in NHS Admin. Now retired, she is a fundraiser for Tiny Tickers, a children’s heart charity, a volunteer mentor at her local High School and, for the past four years, Events Director for The Yorkshire Society.
Philip was born in Leeds and has a professional background in marketing and business management. After spending nearly 20 years as an ex-pat working in senior management he returned to his native Yorkshire in 2012 and joined the Society in 2017. He now spends most of his time working for it and building strategic partnerships.
Charles St Oswald
Lord St Oswald is married with two grown up children and farms at Nostell, in North Yorkshire, and the Appleby Estate in North Lincolnshire. In addition to being President of The Yorkshire Society since 2011 he is President and Patron of a number of charities in the Wakefield district including the Wakefield Hospice, The Royal British Legion, Chippendale Society, Wakefield Family History Society, The Friends of Wakefield Chantry Chapel and the National Mining Museum of England.
A proud Pomfretian, born in Cheshire, but with family history in the West Riding, Geoff came to Yorkshire in 1995, loved it and stayed. His background is in Commercial Management both in the UK and abroad with a focus on business growth, people performance, economic development and international trade. He has been a member of The Yorkshire Society since 2003 and is keen to see it go from strength to strength.
Your County needs you
If you would like to help us manage and run the Yorkshire Society,
Frequently Asked Questions
How is The Yorkshire Society funded?
The Yorkshire Society receives no public funds. It is entirely funded by its members and with revenue generated through events and activities it organises.
Is The Yorkshire Society affiliated to any political party?
No. The Yorkshire Society is strictly non-political and does not get involved in political activities.
Is The Yorkshire Society a charity?
No. The Yorkshire Society is a not for profit organisation registered as a company limited by guarantee at Companies House, No. 11108399
Can anyone join The Yorkshire Society?
Yes, individuals and organisations, commercial and non-commercial, can join The Yorkshire Society. You can find out more HERE.
How can I nominate someone for a Yorkshire Award?
Anyone can nominate someone for a Yorkshire Award and you can do so HERE.
Do I need to join The Yorkshire Society to get involved?
To be considered for a post in the management team you need to be a member. Non-members can volunteer to help.
Does The Yorkshire Society offer any financial support for charities?
No. The Yorkshire Society does not make financial donations to charities in general but may undertake fundraising for its charity members.
Can we organise a joint event with The Yorkshire Society?
Yes. We are always happy to consider joint activities with other organisations.
How do I contact The Yorkshire Society?
In the first instance, the best way is to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask a question…
If you have a question we have not answered here, please email email@example.com and we will reply as soon as we can