THE people of Yorkshire are known for being proud of their county and strong sense of identity.
But Dewsbury-born Mike Fox has taken his love of God’s own county to a whole new level by compiling the Top 10 of Yorkshire.
Mr Fox’s book contains lists on the people, places and history of Yorkshire – and North Kirklees holds its own in the countdowns.
Birstall’s Joseph Priestley, credited with discovering oxygen, features in the top 10 inventors and top 10 scientists lists, and ranks as the greatest Yorkshireman of all time.
The lesser-known Christopher Saxton, born in 1540 in Dewsbury, is known as the ‘father of English Cartography’ and features
in the Engineers and Mathematicians top 10.
Mr Fox, 46, has lived most of his life in Yorkshire and said researching the book was just as enjoyable as writing it.
He said: “We’re all proud to be from Yorkshire and we all like to think we know a lot about it, but I realised I really didn’t and that’s why I enjoyed writing the book.
“Some lists are more subjective than others and to some degree reflect my own opinions. Like most Yorkshire folk I’m fond of a good debate and I’m sure that sections of this book will spark one.”
Mr Fox is still changing
his mind about the top 10 famous people from Dewsbury. House of Commons speaker Baroness Betty Boothroyd is at number one, but he feels Tom Kilburn, inventor of the world’s first stored-program computer, could also lay claim to the title.
“I was born in Dewsbury and brought up in Mirfield. To find out that someone from Dewsbury invented the first modern computer, that’s something we should all be aware of,” he added.
Other famous people from across the district who feature in the book include: Roger Hargreaves from Cleckheaton, writer and illustrator of the Mr Men and Little Miss series of children’s books; distinguished Mirfield actor Sir Patrick Stewart; singer Robert Palmer, from Batley and Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee, born in Dewsbury.
Mr Fox said Yorkshire’s success was down to the talent and hard work of its people. “I think that’s pretty common in Yorkshire folk,” he added. “They’ve done a lot of great things and a lot of them come from humble origins.”
Fox’s Biscuits, the Spen Valley Greenway, Kirklees Light Railway and Oakwell Hall also appear in the book.
Mr Fox added: “I wanted to show people what a great place Yorkshire is, it’s not just people and history but places. There’s so much more than the Yorkshire Dales. I never get bored of living here.”