14 Quotes From Yorkshiremen That'll Make You Feel Better About Life

A selection of quotations from the famous and the not so famous of God’s own county”
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A selection of quotations from the famous and the not so famous of God’s own county”


Yorkshire Wisdom contains a collection of unforgettable quotations from some of the county’s most celebrated sons and daughters. There is, however, a slight twist. Being a Yorkshire-born book, it only felt natural to keep things grounded and also provide a platform for all the ‘ordinary’ tykes out there with something to say.

Sheffield firefighter and author Joe Moorwood made it his mission to unearth some genuine pearls of wisdom from ‘regular’ Yorkshire men and women across the region. Their quotations now rightly share the stage, or rather the page, with the words of those already guaranteed a place in Yorkshire folklore.

Yorkshire Wisdom is full of inspiring and insightful quotations from the likes of Alan Bennett, Gary from Leeds, The Bronte sisters, Ian the plumber, Jarvis Cocker, Elaine from Rotherham, Dame Judy Dench, database administrator Bob, Ted Hughes and many many more…

From the insightful to the amusing and from the inspiring to the downright obscure, the good people of Yorkshire are rarely short of an opinion.

Here are just a handful of examples…

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but then again I wasn’t on that particular job.”

Brian Clough

“If you’ve not grown up by the time you’re 40, you may as well not bother.”

Harry, barman from Leeds

“I’m an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat”

Harold Wilson

“If you’re spending too much time worrying about death, it’s probably a good sign that everything else in your life is going pretty well.”

Liam, electrician from North Yorkshire

“The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd”

Captain James Cook

“What’s tha done that with? Tha knob?”

A Sheffield plasterer assessing the work of his younger colleague

“Use every weapon in the rules and stretch the rules to breaking point I say.”

Fred Truman

“If a man speaks in a forest and there is no woman there to hear… is he still wrong?”

Chris, from Barnsley, via Twitter

“Now I don’t know about you, but at about this time of night I like to slip a petri dish under a rabbit.”

Vic Reaves

“Change the things that can be changed, accept those that cannot, and have the wisdom to know when it’s time to go to the pub.”

Des, events planner, from West Yorkshire

“There’s no one quite like you… follow your dreams and don’t let the bastards grind you down.”

Brian Blessed

“Unfortunately, morality hasn’t evolved at the same pace as other human advancements. We’ve leaped from looking after a small inner circle and ourselves, to national and global responsibility in a relatively short period of time. It’s all very confusing being human.”

Joe, writer from Sheffield

“Both the fanatical believers and the fixed attitude people are loud in their scorn of what they call “woolly minds.”… [But it] is the woolly mind that combines scepticism about everything with credulity about everything. Being woolly it has no hard edges. It is easy, pliant, yet it has its own toughness. Because it bends, it does not break. … The woolly mind realizes that we live in an unimaginable gigantic, complicated, mysterious universe. To try to stuff the vast bewildering creation into a few neat pigeon-holes is absurd. We don’t know enough, and to pretend we do is mere intellectual conceit. … The best we can do is keep looking out for clues, for anything that will light us a step or two in the dark.”

John Boynton Priestly, writer and broadcaster, from Bradford

You’ll not get any quotes from me pal. I’ll tell ya that for nowt!”

Bloke in a Yorkshire pub

Yorkshire Wisdom is available online or in Yorkshire bookstores…

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