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T’verse is t’word as local health and care teams join forces for Yorkshire Day message


31 Jul 2020

Health and care teams across Bradford district and Craven have joined forces with celebrated poet, playwright and journalist, Ian McMillan to encourage people to stay safe during the pandemic, Yorkshire style.

As Yorkshire Day approaches on 1 August 2020, there are concerns around the rising number of cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) across the Bradford district. The team at NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG have taken inspiration from the annual celebration of all things Yorkshire to share very serious public health messages in a different way.

‘Proper Yorkshire, Together’ is a poem proudly written by Rach McCafferty in the Yorkshire dialect that aims to raise awareness of how to stay safe and reduce the spread of infection.

Penned by a member of the team at the CCG, it has now been performed to camera by celebrated poet and the ‘Bard of Barnsley’, Ian McMillan.

Sharing advice such as ‘wash tha mitts for 20 seconds as often as tha can’, ‘stay ‘ome if tha has symptoms’ and ‘pick up ‘tblower, book a test’, the poem aims to raise awareness of the simple steps we can all take to avoid local lockdown both in Bradford district and Craven and more broadly across the Yorkshire region.

Celebrated poet, playwright, radio and TV star Ian McMillan kindly offered to perform the piece to camera. Ian said: “I’ve been working as Barnsley Museum’s Poet in Lockdown during the crisis to understand and share the different experiences of folk across the region and this was a great opportunity to share important messages in a different way.

“We have a proud tradition of sticking together during tough times in Yorkshire and the coronavirus pandemic is no different. Although we cannot be together as we normally would, due to social distancing, social bubbles and all the other advice we’re following to keep each other safe, there’s still an indomitable spirit across our county.

“Yorkshire Day gives us the opportunity to celebrate the fantastic things about God’s own country once a year and this year, it has given us the chance to celebrate that togetherness and remind each other that we need to stick with it, follow t’rules and stay safe to beat the virus.”

Professor John Wright is a doctor and epidemiologist who leads the Bradford Institute for Health Research which has played a key role in battling the virus locally. He added: “We have very real concerns about the increased rate of infection across the Bradford district at the moment and so it’s vitally important that people continue to follow national guidance.

“Local health and care services are still here to help but we need local people to play their part to help reduce the spread of the virus and make sure we lock down Covid; and we don’t let Covid lock us down.

“Working with Ian on this performance has been a great way for us to share very serious public health messages in a different, more engaging way to what people are used to, while proudly celebrating the county of Yorkshire.

“However this is still a very serious situation and it will take local people working together to avoid a local lockdown.”

You can listen to Proper Yorkshire, Together on YouTube here: Further excerpts of the poem will be shared across social media throughout August by local health and care services.

You can also read the poem on the NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG website.

Important advice during the coronavirus pandemic

It is still vitally important that people continue to follow the advice mentioned in Proper Yorkshire Together, which includes:

  • Wash thi mitts for 20 seconds, as often as tha can
    (wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds at a time)
  • If tha’s spluttering, feeling mafted or stuff don’t smell or taste quite reight
    Those are symptoms of t’Covid, so it’s time to isolate
    (if you have a new persistent cough, you have a high temperature or there’s a change in your sense of taste of smell, those are symptoms of coronavirus and you should isolate immediately at home)
  • Mek sure tha covers tha cake ‘oil and tha neb end at t’same time
    (make sure your face covering covers your mouth and nose at the same time)
  • Keep tha distance when tha’s gadding and tha group o’folks small
    (avoid large gatherings of people when you’re out and about)
  • Two metres apart is magic, or perhaps to you and me…
    T’length of a chip’oil counter, two sheep or one Sean Bean
    (stay two metres apart from people outside your household – two metres is around the length of a fish and chip shop counter, two sheep in a row or the height of another famous Yorkshireman, Sean Bean)
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