Today is Yorkshire Day – and to mark the occasion a landmark mural celebrating God’s Own County has appeared in Sheffield.
City artist Jo Peel created the huge outdoor painting, which covers 98 square metres, on a wall at the back of Globe Works in Kelham Island.
The work is peppered with familiar Yorkshire places depicted in Jo’s signature style, including the old Henderson’s Relish factory on Leavygreave Road, Huddersfield Market and the former Tetley Brewery in Leeds.
It took her seven days to complete, and she used around 30 litres of paint to bring the piece to life in black, white, blue, green and pink.
Jo said the work was intended to reflect Yorkshire’s blend of the rural and industrial – hence the presence of trees and greenery as well as chimneys and cranes.
“Yorkshire is the home of over five million proud people, and I wanted to represent that pride by displaying the roots of the landscape, from the industrial heritage of its great cities to the incredible countryside that surrounds us all,” she said.
“Coming from Sheffield myself, I hope that my creation will display the urban Yorkshire landscape in a state of renewal and celebrate the affection I share with my fellow Yorkshire folk.”
The piece spans 14 metres in length and was commissioned by internet service provider Plusnet, which has its headquarters in Sheffield. The locations Jo has painted were chosen because the products sold at each site have been recognised globally.
Other examples of her work can be seen on walls across Sheffield – one side of Hagglers Corner, on Queens Road, is completely covered in a Peel mural, and she painted the inside of The Depot bakery in Neepsend. Her art has also taken her to Brazil, Poland and Japan.
Yorkshire Day, meanwhile, was first commemorated in 1975 by the Yorkshire Ridings Society.
The date is connected to the Battle of Minden, a decisive confrontation of the Seven Years’ War in 1759. British forces passed through rose gardens in Minden, Germany; the soldiers picked white flowers and placed them in their headdresses and coats.
This year’s official celebrations are happening today in Yorkshire’s smallest city, Ripon. There are plans for a parade through the market square, live music and the handing out of free Wilfra cakes – a shortcrust pastry case filled with apples and Wensleydale cheese.
Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK, spanning 2.9 million acres.