Ey up cocker! It’s got to be hot pot for scran tonight as folk round here fly the flag for Lancashire Day.
The annual celebration of all things Lanky is expected to see more people than ever raising a glass in tribute to the Red Rose county.
Last year the campaign to highlight Lancashire Day went viral on social media, reaching an estimated audience of 173m - almost 100m more than 2017. And this year the chances are it could attract an even bigger response.
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The Friends of Real Lancashire are encouraging every Lancastrian, wherever they may be in the world, to join the party.
By “Real Lancashire” the group means the historic county, as it was before 1974 when local government reorganisation hived off large chunks to form Merseyside and Greater Manchester, as well as expanding into Cumbria.
Philip Walsh, chairman of the Friends, said he wanted to “encourage Lancashire folk to celebrate our wonderful county - whether it’s having a drink with friends, holding a Lancashire quiz or a charity event, or even visiting somewhere in Lancashire you’ve never been before.”
Lancashire Day is always marked on November 27 to commemorate the day in 1295 when the county first sent representatives to Westminster to attend the Model Parliament of King Edward I.
The modern day celebration was first held in 1996 and has grown in stature ever since. Scores of events are being held around the county today, with town criers reading out the Lancashire Day Proclamation in public.
Some authorities, including Preston, are flying the Lancashire flag throughout the day on the town hall to mark the occasion.
Traders on Preston Market are also being encouraged to promote Lancashire produce to show off the vast selection of food and drink either grown or made in the county.
Lancashire has also sent six of its finest chefs to London to showcase the area’s food offering in a specially prepared six-course meal for food writers, critics and industry insiders.
The trip, organised by Taste Lancashire, is aimed at showing the London-centric food industry that fine dining isn’t exclusive to the south of England.
Last year another group, Marketing Lancashire, hosted a Lancashire Day event in the House of Commons to promote the county as a leading destination for business and leisure. MPs,
Lords and Ladies, leading Lancastrians living in London and buyers from top stores like Harrods were invited sample the taste of Lancashire.
But the upcoming General Election has put paid to a repeat this year.
Why Lancashire Day?
First staged on November 27, 1996 to celebrate the very best of Lancashire.
The date is significant because it was on November 27, 1295 that the first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as the “Model Parliament.”
It was said to be the first assembly in Westminster which included both knights of the shire and burgesses, although historians have since questioned that assertion.
The 400-strong Parliament comprised almost 100 clergy, eight earls, 41 barons, 73 knights, more than 200 burgesses and 39 Royal officials and judges.
In addition to reading the proclamation, a key part of Lancashire Day is that at 9pm Lancastrians are asked to rise and give a unique toast to: “The Queen, Duke of Lancaster.”
The Lancashire Day proclamation
Town criers will be delivering this message in town centres and markets across the county today:
“To the people of the city and County Palatine of Lancaster. Greetings.
“Know ye that this day, November 27th in the year of our Lord two thousand and nineteen, the 68th year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Lancaster, is Lancashire Day.
“Know ye also, and rejoice, that by virtue of Her Majesty’s County Palatine of Lancaster, the citizens of the Hundreds of Lonsdale, North and South of the Sands, Amounderness, Leyland, Blackburn, Salford and West Derby, are forever entitled to style themselves Lancastrians.
“Throughout the County Palatine, from the Furness Fells to the River Mersey, from the Irish Sea to the Pennines, this day shall ever mark the people’s pleasure in that excellent distinction - true Lancastrians, proud of the Red Rose and loyal to our Sovereign Duke.
“God bless Lancashire. And God Save the Queen, Duke of Lancaster.”
It will be delivered by town criers at: Garstang (11am Market Cross), Great Eccleston (noon at the market), Clitheroe (noon Market Place), Ormskirk (noon Market Place), Fylde (10am
Fylde Town Hall), Blackpool (11am outside Grand Theatre and 11.15 Hounds Hill Centre), Poulton-le-Fylde (noon Market Place), Blackburn (2pm King William Street) and Accrington (10am outside Town Hall).
It’s not all black puddings and hot pot
Lancashire boasts some of the finest chefs in the UK and half a dozen of them have joined forces today to show off the county’s stunning food in London.
Taste Lancashire has sent six of the best to prepare a six-course meal for a tough panel of food writers, critics and industry insiders.
All six are award-winners and their menu features a wealth of Lancashire produce from some of the county’s high-end food producers.
Mark Birchall (Moor Hall, Aughton near Ormskirk), Chris Bury (Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston), Stosi Madi (Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland), Oli Martin (Hipping Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale),
Steven Smith ( Freemasons, Wiswell) and Mark Taft (Assheton Arms, Downham) are cooking up a treat at the Guild of Fine Food headquarters in Southwark.
Celebrity chefs Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote, who are Taste Lancashire ambassadors, are also there to support the event.
And amongst the producers whose fare is being used for the meal are Booths, Burholme Farm, Alyx Drinks Ltd, Choc Amor, Goosnargh Gin, H&P Ascroft, Midland Fish Company, Old
School Brewery, Pugh’s Piglets, Smithy Mushrooms, Wellcocks, Wellgate Fisheries, The Bee Centre and the Whalley Wine Shop.
Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marleting Lancashire, said: “Each of our chefs has brought significant recognisition to Lancashire, achieving some of the industry’s top accolades.
“They will be cooking for some of the UK’s top food and travel writers who will in turn help to encourage more visitors to sample and appreciate the county’s rich larder, our world class restaurants, top gastro-pubs and unbeatable hospitality.
“We have some of the best produce in the country and raising awareness of this around Lancashire Day sends out a strong message to visiotrs as well as to passionate Lancastrians that we’re incredibly proud to share.”