I was this week invited to be a Vice President of the Yorkshire Society.
I have been a member of the Yorkshire Society for a number of years, so I was honoured to be asked and delighted to accept.
The Yorkshire Society is under the Patronage of His Royal Highness The Duke of York, and represents the very best that Yorkshire has to offer for those living, working, visiting or investing in the county, while also generating funds to directly ‘plough back’ into regional and local communities.
Formed as a non-political, not-for-profit organisation in 1980, the society encourages businesses, charities and individuals from or living in all parts of Yorkshire to join together in ‘promoting the county’. Not only does it work with established organisations in their efforts to generate and promote tourism in the county, it also encourages and assists local branches of the society to fund and carry through projects in their own area.
The main reason I was delighted to accept the Vice Presidency, along with far more distinguished people than myself, was because I can’t think of anywhere better to promote in Yorkshire than Doncaster.
Doncaster, in keeping with many other towns and cities, has had its ups and downs. However, those of you brought up in Doncaster and who’ve lived here for many more years than have I know it has a wonderfully rich heritage built in more recent history on close-knit mining communities, the railways and locomotive works, aviation and tractor production.
And, much further back, it had of course a Roman heritage, and its early and medieval heritage is fascinating to explore.
Doncaster is now a town working hard to reach its potential, supported by some of the most beautiful areas of countryside and villages.
In recent years its centre has undergone redevelopment including the construction of an Education City campus. Lakeside, home to Doncaster Rovers, has undergone modernisation, and Lakeside Village contains a wonderful array of shops.
Further rejuvenation of the town is being developed, and new roads to enhance the already excellent transport and communications networks.
More recently we’ve been blessed with a new theatre and Council House, which is very attractive and modern.
Then there’s the well-visited wildlife park and places such as Cusworth Hall and the Mansion House.
There’s a growing buzz - you only have to be in the town centre any day of the week to experience this.
I want to play my part in encouraging others outside Doncaster to see it for the vibrant place it is, with all the opportunities and potential it has to offer, and I hope the Yorkshire Society will facilitate some of that.
If the Yorkshire Society wants to promote the very best Yorkshire has to offer let’s start here in Doncaster.
* Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster